Performers and presenters at the Grammy Awards on Sunday provided ample political messages throughout the show’s broadcast. Nike added to the event’s theme with a star-studded ad.
The athletic standout unveiled its latest short film, “Equality,” proclaiming “equality should have no boundaries.” The video used the camaraderie of sports as a metaphor for how people — regardless of race, sexual orientation or religious beliefs — should be accepted.
“The bonds we find here should run past these lines. Opportunity should not discriminate. The ball should bounce the same for everyone. Worth should outshine color. If we could be equals here, we can be equals everywhere,” actor Michael B. Jordan said in the clip, with NBA star LeBron James speaking the last portion of the statement.
Aside from Jordan and James, Nike athletes including Kevin Durant, Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas and Victor Cruz appeared in the video. The background music was performed by Alicia Keys, who sang the Sam Cooke classic “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
To coincide with the video, Nike has T-shirts now for sale with the word “Equality” printed on the front, with proceeds going to the brand’s partner organizations who stand for equality. The men’s and women’s shirts retail for $35, while kid’s sizing has a $20 price tag.
Nike “Equality” T-shirt, $35; nike.com
The T-shirt release precedes the brand’s annual Black History Month sneaker collection, which drops Thursday. The line features new colorways of the Kyrie 3, LeBron 14, Zoom KD 9, Air Force 1 High, Air Force 1 Upstep Low, and NikeCourt Flare executed in the same color palette. Also in the collection are Jordan and Converse looks including the Air Jordan 1 Retro High and the Chuck II in a high and low cut.
The sneakers in the collection range in price from $65 to $175.
In a statement released Sunday, Nike stated it will donate $5 million this year to organizations that advance equality in communities nationwide such as Mentor and PeacePlayers.