The claim: Nike stated the company can afford to lose customers who support Trump
Recent posts on Facebook have focused on athletic apparel giant Nike.
Users claim that the company stated that it "can afford" to lose the business of customers who support President Donald Trump.
"NIKE has stated, 'We’re a $76 Billion dollar company that can afford to let go of all ‘Make America Great Again’ customers," one post reads, accompanied by the hashtag #bye.
The user behind the post did not respond to request from USA TODAY for comment.
Statement is not from Nike
Though Nike has voiced support for Black Lives Matter, it has not endorsed a presidential candidate or political party.
Sandra Carreon-John, a spokeswoman for Nike, told USA TODAY that the quote in the post is not a statement from the company. She also confirmed to the Associated Press that it “definitely did not come from anyone at Nike.”
The post also misstates the value of the company at $76 billion. In reality, Nike is valued at over $180 billion, according to Nasdaq.
Falsehood dates back to 2018
The false claim actually dates back to September 2018.
That month, Nike selected Colin Kaepernick — the ex-San Francisco 49s quarterback who popularized kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice — as one of the faces of its anniversary campaign.
In a tweet reacting to the news, a user wrote, "On NPR this morning, NIKE stated, 'We did all the math. We’re a $76 Billion dollar company that can afford to let go of all ‘make america great again’ customers. We would rather be on the right side of history.'"
But the segment that aired on NPR earlier on Sept. 4 actually contained no such quote.
It did, however, include an interview with Justin Tinsley, a sports writer for The Undefeated, who made similar statements.
"I don't think Nike's going to take too much of a financial hit," Tinsley said.
"They're not going to take a drastic hit from the bottom line," he added, noting that Nike is a "internationally known, multibillion-dollar company."
"They've done the math. They've done the bottom line probably hundreds of times over. And they know the benefit that can come from this," he said, adding "And at the end of the day, you want to be on the right side of history."
Our rating: False
Based on our research, the claim that Nike stated that it "can afford" to lose the business of customers who support President Donald Trump is FALSE. Nike has denied the allegation, which has been circulating since a sports writer made a similar comment on NPR in 2018.
Our fact-check sources:
- Nike, June 5, 2020, NIKE, Inc. Statement on Commitment to the Black Community
- Interview with Sandra Carreon-John, Spokeswoman for Nike
- Associated Press, Sept. 8, 2020, Nike didn’t say it could afford to lose MAGA customers
- Nasdaq, Nike Inc. Common Stock
- Snopes, Sept. 8, 2018, Did Nike Say They Can Afford to “Let Go of All ‘Make America Great Again’ Customers”?
- @LisaGlove2 on Twitter, Sept. 4, 2018, tweet
- NPR, Sept. 4, 2018, Colin Kaepernick Is Picked For Nike's Anniversary 'Just Do It' Campaign
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Nike never said it 'can afford' to lose Trump supporters