In one of the most profound and indeed unprecedented moments in fashion history, sportswear’s biggest rivals, Nike and Adidas, are standing in solidarity for George Floyd, the African American man killed by police in Minneapolis last week.
Over the weekend, Nike shared a powerful new campaign inverting its famous slogan, “Just Do It”. Instead, a simple black banner read the words, in white: “For Once, Don’t Do”.
To a poignant soundtrack, it continued. “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us. Don’t make any more excuses. Don’t think this doesn’t affect you.”
Along with the caption, “let’s all be part of the change,” and a new hashtag, “#UntilWeAllWin”, the video was a powerful response to the death of George Floyd, whose death has sparked violent protests against racial police brutality around America.
While it’s not the first time Nike has stood for racial justice – the brand famously backed US football player and activist Colin Kaepernick in September 2018 after he was vilified for kneeling during the US national anthem during a game in a racial protest – is it the first time its rival, Adidas, has stood with them.
In a remarkably rare move, Adidas retweeted the campaign with the words: “Together is how we move forward. Together is how we make change.” Both titans in the sportswear and streetwear ring, it’s the first time we’ve seen the competitors stand together like this in solidarity. A reminder that this is an issue far greater than consumerism.