A couple days ago, the fabulous Nicole from MomTrends finally decided she'd had it.
As Nicole wrote on her blog, "It all started with Nike's weird from-the-grave Master's ad for Tiger. Then I read about Ben Roethlisberger--another Nike guy. The NFL player wasn't charged with anything but according to the NYTimes he did earn a 572-page Georgia police report of a sexual assault accusation against him. That was enough for me."
"I've got two little girls. I want them to grow up to be strong women that love sports--just like their mom does. So as their role model I want them to see me use my purchasing power well. Not only to I track trends, but I also try to steer moms into spending money wisely. I'm certainly not going to be giving Nike my dollars anymore (two pairs of running shoes a year--roughly $200) to spend on athletes that at the very least don't respect women. So I'm asking you all to think twice before plunking down money for Nike shoes and apparel. As for me, I'm returning the promotional outfit I received last year for review."
Nicole brought the conversation over to TheMotherhood, too. Check that conversation out as well. Good stuff. Including a great point by Scraphappychristine:
scraphappychri And I'm a mother of boys and it bothers me. I do NOT want them to think these are acceptable ways to treat women and role model this type of behavior.
And now a Twitter petition is making the rounds, which reads:
Roethlisberger has been accused multiple times of sexual assault http://bit.ly/asVKj4 By sponsoring this football player, Nike says violence against women is okay. In 2007, Nike dropped Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick for running a dog-fighting ring, saying, “We consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and unacceptable.” Surely violence against women is many times worse. Tell Nike to drop Roethlisberger today!
The issue is clear. We buy the sports gear for our kids and for ourselves. Who wants to outfit our boys and girls like these men who, at best, act like spoiled, sociopath cavemen and at worst are dangerous and prey upon and assault females at a whim?
Glorifying these guys has been very, very good for Nike, but what happens when there really is nothing left to glorify? Maybe Ben and Tiger are still good athletes, but at the end of the day without sportsmanship an athlete really cannot be considered world class. If they aren't world class, why are they worthy of an endorsement from a company such as Nike?
Our bet is that since women, girls and moms are starting to make some noise, companies like Nike will have no choice but to listen and act. It is the only right, sportsman-like thing to do.
What do you think?
UPDATE: The awesome Amy from MojoMom.com blogged about this issue as well. Read her great post here. In case anyone wanted to weigh in, Amy pointed us to the "interesting" NPR Morning Edition commentary from Frank Deford she covers in her post.