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Nike Is Facing Backlash Over Its Partnership With Transgender Activist Dylan Mulvaney

Dylan Mulvaney
Dylan Mulvaney.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for PFLAG

People are calling for a boycott of Nike because of the brand’s partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. Among the loudest voices is former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies.

Davies, who won a silver medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, spoke with U.K. news channel GB News yesterday. During the interview, Davies said Nike’s partnership with Mulvaney feels like “a kick in the teeth.”

“It feels like a parody of what women are,” Davies told GB News. “In the past, it was always seen as an insult when people say ‘run like a girl,’ and here we’ve got somebody behaving in a way that’s very unsportslike, that’s very unathletic, and it’s so frustrating when only 1% of the U.S. sponsorship dollar in the whole of the USA goes to actual females in sports, but they would then do this.”

The retired athlete was referring to a video Mulvaney posted on social media this week promoting a Nike sports bra and leggings.

“Home for a moment and leaning into cozy workout wear life with @nikewomen‘s newest Zenvy leggings and Alate bra! They’re so comfortable and buttery soft, perfect for workouts and everyday wear! #feelyourall #teamnike #nikepartner,” Mulvaney wrote on Instagram.

Davies addressed why this specifically, she believes, is problematic.

“Sports bras, when there is nothing to put in the sports bra, when it’s really important that a woman gets proper support when they do sport, it just doesn’t make sense,” Davies said.

During the interview, Davies said the only thing left to do is protest Nike.

“It’s what’s left for us at the moment because nobody really seems to be listening to the general public, and that is frustrating,” Davies said. “The only way we can actually make these companies and make governments listen is to boycott with our wallet.”

Others have taken to Instagram to voice their opinions on the campaign.

“Mulvaney is MOCKING women. The companies supporting this mockery clearly do not hold any respect for women. Stop supporting these companies,” Instagram user @scsheard wrote under Mulvaney’s post. 

User @nicoleelizabeth.xox_ added, “I am so sick of you making a mockery of real women. We are not caricatures, and if this is what you think a woman is, you have a lot left to learn. Honestly I don’t see how any female can support this; he’s literally setting us back 100s of years by making us look stupid and vapid. It’s so demeaning to think that big companies think that THIS is what represents a woman.”

Nike has also added a comment under several of its own recent Instagram posts across the accounts it operates stating, “Hate speech, bullying or other behaviors that are not in the spirit of a diverse and inclusive community will be deleted.”

This, too, has been addressed by the social media platform’s users.

“Why are [you] deleting comments?? Take the heat and quit suppressing women,” wrote Instagram user @llyynnn1111.

User @mskatastrophi added, “Since my comment which had the most likes was deleted I shall repost: The irony of this company marketing for biological women and then deleting comments made by women voicing their opinions is absolutely absurd. The only thing more comical than this is that they expect the same biological women to purchase their merchandise. I suppose since the world male population is of 52% they think they can make more money that way?”

Mulvaney, however, has also received support on social media.

“She’s fit, she’s balanced, she’s athletic, she’s centered, she’s suave, she’s healthy, she’s wealthy, she’s everything,” Instagram user @lilliechristina wrote under Mulvaney’s post promoting the Nike products.

User @woke_up_weird also commented, “How are you people offended?! Just leave her alone if you don’t like her look, how does this affect y’alls ‘womanhood’ at all? I don’t get it. I seriously don’t. Just like people getting offended by same sex marriage. How is this an issue to anybody else than to the people themselves?!”

FN has reached out to Nike for comment.

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Nike Faces Backlash Over Trans Activist Dylan Mulvaney Partnership
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