Nike Closes South African Stores Following Discovery of Racist Video

The sneaker giant has refused to comment.

Fashion
42,044 Hypes 128 Comments

Nike closed several South African stores this week following the circulation of a video in which a man reportedly linked to the company used a racial slur. South African media initially brought the clip to light, reporting that the man seen in it, later identified as Adam Catzavelos, was married to a Nike merchandising director.

In the video, Catzavelos, a white man with a South African accent, can be seen wearing a straw hat and reflective shades on a beach assumed to be somewhere near Cape Town. He walks the camera around the beach, stating “Blue skies, beautiful day, amazing sea and not one k*ffir in sight.” Known as the “K-Word” in the region, the phrase is a deeply offensive, apartheid-era slur used to refer to a black person comparable to the “N-Word” in the West. Following the incident, Catzavelos has been publicly shunned on social media.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, which led protests against H&M in January following the insensitive “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hoodie, announced plans to file a criminal complaint against Catzavelos. When asked to comment, Nike issued a statement reaffirming its “long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect,” emphasizing that Catzavelos was not a company employee. Currently South African media has confirmed the closure of several Nike stores, including two at a mall in Johannesburg’s Sandton district.

Watch the offending clip on The Independent.

Nike most recently faced controversy in London, where officials took umbrage with the sportswear giant’s Matthew Williams-designed balaclava.

Read Full Article
Source
Reuters

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