Nike CEO John Donahoe has sent out a letter to employees addressing the company’s anti-racism efforts, CNBC reports. The memo follows a powerful campaign ad released last Friday, detailing the sportswear brand’s position on institutionalized racism after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement in Minneapolis.
“While we strive to help shape a better society, our most important priority is to get our own house in order,” Donahoe wrote. “Nike needs to be better than society as a whole. … While we have made some progress over the past couple of years, we have a long way to go.”
Nike has been called out in the past for its lack of diversity and poor treatment of employees, specifically that of women. A diversity report on the company’s website previously revealed that just 21.6 percent of its employees in 2019 were black, compared to 23.5 percent in 2017. Furthermore, only 4.8 percent of Nike’s 2019 directors were black, while 9.9 percent of VPs were black.
Donahoe went on to add that Nike employees have expressed a need for progress, most notably in recent weeks. “We know Black Lives Matter,” he said. “We must educate ourselves more deeply on the issues faced by Black communities and understand the enormous suffering and senseless tragedy racial bigotry creates.”
The Nike CEO also announced that the company will be donating $40 million over four years to support black communities, an initiative that will be led by Craig Williams, the president of Jordan brand.
You can read the letter to Nike employees below.
Join us in taking a stance against institutionalized racism.