KICKIN' UP THEIR HEELS: NIKE TO SEND UNC STUDENTS TO ASIA
One day after Nike execs visited UNC-Chapel Hill (UNC)
to "counter accusations of sweatshoplike working conditions
in Southeast Asia, the company agreed Friday to send UNC
students to the factories to see for themselves," according
to Jane Stancil of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. In a
meeting Thursday, UNC Chancellor Michael Hooker "suggested"
that Nike pay the expenses of a four-member contingent: the
Chair of the faculty council and three students, including a
member of the campus paper. Nike Dir of College Sports
Marketing Kit Morris: "Conceptually, Nike has agreed to the
idea. We welcome the opportunity to educate our university
partners on this issue" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/16).
THE WHITE STUFF: Nike-endorser Reggie White has "joined
the ranks" of Nike critics, "blasting the company's labor
practices," according to Friday's Portland OREGONIAN.
White: "The reason they have these sweatshops is for cheap
labor. They'd rather hire the cheap labor than hire the kid
in the neighborhood who is buying their shoes. There are
people who need jobs here." Nike spokesperson Antonio
Tijerino said that White should "know that we employ 500,000
people around the world. There are poor people everywhere."
White has a deal with Nike "estimated" at $200,000-$250,000
a year and said he has no plans to end his relationship with
the company. White: "Nike has treated me well. But I'm not
going to lie to you. I've been disappointed with them"
(Portland OREGONIAN/AP, 11/15).
MORE NICKS AT NIKE: In S.F., Tim Keown wrote that
Nike's "hypocrisy knows no bounds." Keown: "It aligns
itself with just causes -- the courage of Jackie Robinson,
racism in country clubs, the plight of inner-city kids --
then indignantly wonders why anybody gives a damn about the
respiratory problems of a few thousand young women in
Vietnam" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/14). In an op-ed in today's
PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, Fredrick McKissack writes under the
headline, "Nike Workers Get No Assist From Jordan."
McKissack notes Jordan's recent statements on Nike during an
interview on ABC's "PrimeTime Live." McKissack: "Once
again, Michael Jordan had a chance to speak out about
working conditions in Nike plants in Southeast Asia. Once
again, he failed to do that" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 11/17).