Nike closes South Africa stores

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Front Page -

SOME Nike stores were closed in South Africa on Wed­nes­day after pub­lic out­cry over a racist com­ment by a man that lo­cal me­dia said had links to the sports­wear com­pany.

Nike de­clined to com­ment on the store clo­sures, but is­sued a state­ment re­it­er­at­ing its “long-stand­ing com­mit­ment to di­ver­sity, in­clu­sion and re­spect”, adding that the man seen in a video posted on­line was not a com­pany em­ployee.

In the video, taken at a beach re­sort, a white man with a South African ac­cent says: “And not one k **** r in sight. F**king heaven on earth.”

The “K word” as it is known in South Africa is apartheid-era slang for a black per­son and is re­garded as a deeply of­fen­sive slur on a par with the “N word” in Amer­ica.

Times Live on­line news ser­vice said the man in the video was mar­ried to a mer­chan­dis­ing di­rec­tor at Nike. A Nike spokes­woman in London de­clined to com­ment and Reuters was un­able to in­de­pen­dently ver­ify the per­son’s iden­tity. (Reuters)

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