“Just Do It” takes on a whole new spin for Nike and, after this weekend, will never hold the same meaning for thousands of individuals set to lose their jobs and income over saying no to the jab.
The Oregon-headquartered company is set to openly discriminate and fire employees based upon personal–and what should be very private–medical decisions, not publicly-facing punitive measures that will hurt many Oregon families and individuals. Despite the recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cannot enforce the unconstitutional vaccine mandate, Nike is still requiring all employees and independent contractors at its Beaverton campus headquarters to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and to use a digital app work passport to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the campus. Those who did not comply or who didn’t get their religious or medical exemptions approved, an impersonal process they outsourced to a third-party company to handle, will lose their employment. While U.S. employees are effectively being told to just do it or lose their jobs, Nike is not mandating, let alone even asking, whether overseas manufacturing workers have taken the jab to keep their jobs.
According to a recent HypeBeast article, “The Swoosh team reportedly sent out an email to 14,000 Beaverton-based associates whom did not meet the company’s December 1, 2021 vaccination deadline, and the email stated, “You failed to complete the verification process and our records show that you do not have an approved (exemption). As a result, you are not in compliance with the Policy and your employment is scheduled to be terminated on Saturday, January 15, 2022.”
Hypocrisy abounds for the mega sports brand, the highest valued on the planet boasting a brand value of over 30 billion U.S. dollars, that champions woke causes such as Black Lives Matter and signs Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player famous for kneeling for the National Anthem, to a lucrative endorsement deal at home, virtue signalling toward liberal elites. All the while it may be directly or indirectly benefiting, according to a report published in March of 2020, to the use of Uyghur slave labor in Xinjiang Province, China, to produce some of their products.
Powerful woke corporations no longer try to hide their duplicity and are now implementing authoritarian policies in complete disregard to individual rights. Nike needs to be held accountable for its infringement of Medical Freedom and civil rights, and, as Governor of Oregon, I plan to do just that. You cannot have full informed consent in a free society if your income is being held on the line through compliance or being kicked to the curb–that is coercion and simply wrong.
In fact, Nike’s continued push has created an obvious inequality among Oregon employees, an ideology that Nike has been trying to educate the global public on since their infamous Equality ad campaign that launched in 2018, where they were asking the public to “stand up for equality.”
As quoted on a page of their website published in 2018,
“Nike has a long history of speaking up for causes that reflect its values. That continues today with EQUALITY, Nike’s ongoing effort to encourage people to take the fairness and respect they see in sport and translate them off the field. The EQUALITY initiative is centered on using the power of sport to inspire people to take action in their communities, with Nike leading by example with its partnerships with world-class organizations dedicated to advancing this work.”
Where is the fairness and respect they speak of for the employees they are forcing out of their jobs and their ability to feed their families?
Last I checked, the very definition of “equality” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is “the quality or state of being equal: the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.”
As it stands now, in 2022, Nike continues to preach to the public about the need for equality on their website through their “Until We All Win” campaign, stating, “Equality isn’t a game. But achieving it will be our greatest victory. Until we all win.”
In fact, further down on their website they continue by describing two other campaigns they are currently promoting, the “N7” campaign and the “BeTrue” campaign, where they are asking the public to move forward from the past and look to the next seven generations of impact as well as stay true to who one’s own beliefs in their convictions for individuality and pursuit of social justice.
I don’t think Nike leadership wants the public to understand just how hypocritical they are being here in Oregon with their segregational, oppressive program pushing out hard-working employees from their jobs simply because they don’t want to be forced to take the jab!
Oregon’s “my body my choice” Governor Kate Brown is the least popular governor in all of America, according to a poll that gathered responses between July and October of 2021. Brown, too, has pushed these predatory mandates forcefully onto state workers, law enforcement, teachers, first responders and frontline healthcare workers yet can’t seem to spot her own hypocrisy or policy failings as she and the Oregon Health Authority now seem to turn to look the other way as the undeniable science of breakthrough cases and vaccine failure mounts.
President Biden’s approval rating continues to plummet precipitously since instituting a vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers, which he has now taken to employers directly to ask them to enforce it, since the U.S. Supreme Court says that OSHA cannot enforce his mandate. Specifically, what SCOTUS ruled on is that the Secretary of Labor, acting on behalf of President Joe Biden and through OSHA, “…exceeds its [OSHA’s] statutory authority and is otherwise unlawful.”
This ruling is concurrent with the initial ruling by Judge Engelhardt of the 5th Circuit Court. Federal agencies–or state agencies for that matter–should not be granted the power to enforce unconstitutional mandates. (Here is an excellent piece published by Oregon’s own renowned peer-reviewed researcher Dr. Henry Ealy on the recent court proceedings.)
The entire efforts surrounding the mandate by the Biden Administration sent a strong message to Americans: We do not believe you should have bodily integrity or autonomy and the federal government is intent on trying to make or influence medical decisions for you. Likewise, Nike’s vaccine requirement is an unlawful overreach.
This past September, multiple Black Lives Matter leaders publicly criticized New York’s vaccine passport program as racist following a violent altercation at a Manhattan restaurant September 16. “We are serving notice on the mayor, on the governor, on the restaurant industry that we will not allow for you to use this pandemic, vaccination cards, and masks as another reason to be racist, to put us in prison,” Kimberly Bernard, co-founder of the Black Women’s March, stated, according to National Review. “What is going to stop the Gestapo, I mean the NYPD, from rounding up black people, from snatching them off the train, off the bus?” asked Chivona Newsome, another BLM leader, at a protest following the restaurant incident.
Nike is set to roll out a vaccine passport program for its employees shortly. Despite announcing a forty million dollar commitment over four years in June, 2020 to support the Black community in the United States, Nike seems clueless as to the impact of their discriminatory policies to people of color. Such contradictions need to be called out and the truth be made clear to the citizens of Oregon where one of the world’s most powerful brands is headquartered.
Nike’s policies being pushed speak to the current decision our state and our nation faces as we look ahead to what’s on the line for voters in 2022: authoritarianism vs. freedom. Do we allow for such coercive policies and corporate culture rife with hypocrisy and unconstitutional overreach that mirrors the ideology of Communist China or “show me your papers” Nazi, Germany? Or, conversely, do we want to keep the core values of freedom and individual rights and liberties for Oregonians and the American people? The choice is ours to make.
The slogan Nike uses in its advertisements with Colin Kaepernick features a pithy tagline: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” I find this statement ironic coming from a company that has demonstrated such piousness in its policies worldwide. My message to Oregonians is simple: believe in the U.S. and Oregon constitutions and the rights they protect. Otherwise we will have sacrificed everything.
Marc Thielman is a republican candidate for governor in Oregon and superintendent of the Alsea School District. The Marc for Oregon campaign is a constitutionally-minded, grassroots-run campaign led by committed people in Oregon who truly care, are ready for a change in leadership and support fairness and integrity in politics. The Marc for Oregon campaign stands firmly against bullying, harassment, discrimination and intimidation. For more information about Marc for Oregon, visit www.marcfororegon.com, contact [email protected] for interview requests, email [email protected] for general inquiries, follow @marcfororegon on social media, or call (541)-649-2411.