Nike CEO and president, Mark Parker, sent out a company-wide email to employees on Sunday addressing President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans visitors from seven nations. The countries part of the order include: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Sudan.
In his email, Parker wrote that Nike’s values are being “threatened” by the executive order.
“Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity,” Parker wrote in a memo to employees on Sunday. “Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what makes us stronger as a whole.”
“Those values are being threatened by the recent executive order in the U.S. banning refugees, as well as visitors, from seven Muslim-majority countries,” Parker continued. “This is a policy we don’t support.”
Nike CEO Mark Parker sends rare political email to employees tonight, condemning POTUS travel ban. "This is a policy we don't support." pic.twitter.com/I9w48WA7e8
— Sara Germano (@germanotes) January 30, 2017
Prominent Wall Street Journal sports reporter Sara Germano tweeted about Mark Parker’s letter calling the political nature of the email “rare” on Nike’s part.
The memo was sent hours after track legend Mo Farah (a Somalian-born British citizen) made a statement addressing his concerns about the executive order. Farah, who is referenced in Parker’s email, lives in Oregon and is sponsored by Nike. Initially, Farah’s representatives were investigating whether “the fact that he was born in Somalia will present a problem for him when he wishes to return to the United States,” per ESPN.
According to BBC Sport, Farah, a four-time Olympic champion in the 5,000m and 10,000m, has since been reassured that he will not have an issue travelling back to Oregon after finishing his current training camp in Ethiopia.
“Nike stands together against bigotry and any form of discrimination,” reads the email. “We learned that on the field of play, where fairness and mutual respect are the rule, not the exception. Now more than ever, let’s stand up for our values and remain open and inclusive as a brand and a company. We are at our best when we recognize the value of our diverse community.”