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ESPN GOES INSIDE FORMER ST. JOHN'S COACH'S SUIT AGAINST NIKE
Published December 6, 1999
ESPN's Jeremy Schaap profiled former St. John's Univ. assistant men's soccer coach Jim Keady, who has filed an $11M lawsuit against the school and Nike "alleging they violated his civil and religious right by forcing him to wear the Nike symbol or quit." Keady refused to wear Nike athletic gear despite the school's contract with the company due to Nike's overseas labor policy. Keady: "I was told that if I wanted to continue on as a graduate assistant coach next year I [needed] to wear Nike and drop this issue publicly or resign. ... I went to St. John's to coach and to study theology. I didn't go there to be an advertisement for the Nike corporation." But Nike Dir of Global Issues Management Vada Manager called the lawsuit "baseless." Schaap noted that St. John's officials "argue" that their relationship with Nike will "further" their commitment to the "tenets of Catholic social teaching." St. John's VP/ Ministry James Maher: "We face really two choices. On the one hand, do we walk away from the Nike corporation or do we choose the path of really entering into a process where we do see where we can affect change for workers overseas and in the communities in which they live?" (ESPN, 12/3).