A few months after Donald Trump declared war on Nike, the company’s latest footwear brand is sticking with the president.
| AP Photo A few years ago, the shoe giant would have given up on Trump’s presidency, but that changed after a spate of racially charged attacks.
In April 2018, two men were killed and a third injured when a white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of people celebrating a man they believed had murdered an African-American man.
Trump tweeted at the time that the attacks were “a sad commentary on a country that does not treat its citizens with respect.”
He blamed “the left and the Democrats” for the violence.
Three days later, a black man was shot and killed by a white man in an attack that Trump said had been inspired by his remarks.
That attack drew the ire of many, especially the Black Lives Matter movement.
“This is a political statement,” said Dan Sperling, president of the shoe firm.
“I don�t know why people are saying, ‘Well, he just didn’t want to be elected.’
I don�T know why they’re saying that.”
After a year of the President being criticized for not being able to denounce the violence, Sperlin said he was surprised when Trump declared he was “not going to get involved” with the company.
“The way we see it is that Nike is going to be focused on its brands,” Sperlesaid. “It doesn�t matter what he says.”
In a statement released Friday, Sampson said Nike was looking to create a more “positive image for the country” and said the brand would be “looking at the way it operates as a business.”
“We have a strong commitment to creating a positive image for our community and the way we operate is one of our core values,” the statement said.
“We will continue to work hard to ensure our products are aligned with those values.”
The statement said Nike would not release further information on its plans for the Trump era.
The shoe company has not released any public statements since Trump was inaugurated in January, when Sampons statement came out.
But the president has been outspoken in the past about racial and ethnic profiling and violence.
On March 3, 2019, Trump signed an executive order barring federal agencies from using the term “illegal aliens” in their official reports and ordering an investigation into the Justice Department’s use of that term.
“They can go back and look at that,” Trump said.
In February 2020, a video surfaced showing Trump at a rally berating an African American protester at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“He should be hung,” Trump told the crowd.
“And I will tell you right now, if he gets caught, I will bring him down on a stretcher.
I promise you, I promise.
He’s getting ready to be thrown out of the White House.”
The next day, a man with ties to white nationalist groups was killed in Charlottesville.
Trump said at the start of the rally that the violence was a hate crime.
“There was no racism in it,” Trump declared.
“No hatred at all.
The only people that came here to hurt us were the people that hate us.”
At a press conference later that day, Trump called for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Charlottesville violence.
The following day, after the White Supremacist League of America issued a statement calling for the lynching of the president, the group issued a similar statement.
Trump and his administration have repeatedly denounced the violence as “fake news” and a politically motivated attack.