Nike CEO Criticizes Trump Executive Order on Immigration

February 1, 2017 Updated: February 2, 2017

Retailers Nike and Adidas issued a statement about President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that temporarily bars citizens of seven countries for 90 days and suspends the U.S. refugee program for for 120 days.

“Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity. 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,” Nike CEO Mike Parker said a public note.

“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. This is a policy we don’t support.”

“Some companies have already voiced their concerns about this decision and we join them in their call for an open and diverse society and culture in the U.S. and around the globe. It goes without saying that our commitment to the U.S. market and our people in America remains unchanged despite this current political climate,” the global retail giant stated.

After the statement, users on Reddit’s popular, pro-Trump forum called for a Nike boycott, while noting that Nike is in no position to make statements on morality after it used sweatshops in past decades.

Trump has repeatedly defended his order, saying it’s not a “Muslim ban,” which some critics have claimed, while others have noted that 42 other Muslim-majority nations are not included in the order, including the largest, most-influential Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.

US President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Jan. 28, 2017. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Jan. 28, 2017. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The countries named in the order are Yemen, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, and Iran.

Trump’s administration has said the protesters and media are overreacting to a small number of people who were impacted by the order.

“[E]very false, misleading, inaccurate, hyperventilating, confused, misguided or other kind of report, again covers a fractional, miniscule percentage of travelers to our airports on any given day,” an unnamed White House official said, CBS reported. The disruption of travel over the weekend is an “extremely minimal disruption.”

Meanwhile, the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents ICE and Border Patrol agents, praised Trump’s orders on immigration after Friday’s order.

It said in a statement over the weekend:

As representatives of the nation’s Frontline immigration officers and agents responsible for enforcing our laws and protecting our borders, we fully support and appreciate President Trump’s swift and decisive action to keep the American people safe and allow law enforcement to do its job. We applaud the three executive orders he has issued to date, and are confident they will make America safer and more prosperous. Morale amongst our agents and officers has increased exponentially since the signing of the orders. The men and women of ICE and Border Patrol will work tirelessly to keep criminals, terrorists, and public safety threats out of this country, which remains the number one target in the world – and President Trump’s actions now empower us to fulfill this life saving mission, and it will indeed save thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

The ACLU, Democratic politicians, and some Republican lawmakers have derided the move. The CEOs of Starbucks, Google, and Amazon have also criticized Trump’s recent order.

Parker’s statement mentioned British Olympic champion Mo Farah, who is of Somalian descent and might be impacted by the immigration order signed by Trump last Friday. However, the BBC reported that Farah, who lives in Oregon, won’t be impacted by the order.

“We understand from the statement released this evening by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the executive order will not apply to Mo, and we are grateful to the FCO for urgently clarifying the situation,” a spokesperson said.