Nike's Apology for the Air Dri-Goat Ad
Purely and simply, we made a mistake.
That ad should never have been approved, much less written, and we are examining
our internal approval system to make sure such a mistake does not happen again.
We offer a sincere apology to anyone who was offended by that ad and we have
immediately pulled it from all publications that have not already gone to print.
We also are submitting apologetic letters to the editor to these same magazines.
We are discussing both internally and with external advocacy groups some
possible additional measures we can take to attempt to right this wrong.
As a company that has long honored and celebrated the athletic goals of people
of all levels of ability, we are extremely distressed that this ad contradicts
the spirit of the philosophy of our late co-founder, legendary track coach Bill
Bowerman, who said, "If you have a body, you are an athlete."
It's also a contradiction of Nike's strong record on employing people with
different abilities, which has included athletes as diverse as Casey Martin, Ric
Munoz and others in our advertising. (Nike also outfitted the 2000 Australian
Paralympic Team and provided uniforms to the US and Kenyan Paralympic Teams.)
We realize that regaining someone's trust is an often lengthy and sometimes
impossible task, but hope you will allow us to make that attempt. Down to a man
and woman, every Nike employee is personally embarrassed by this ad and we vow
to learn from this mistake and grow both personally and professionally. Our
internal Nike Disabled Employee Network also is providing important guidance.
For more information about Nike and our dedication to corporate
responsibility we invite you to visit that area on nikebiz.com.