Nike chief executive Mark Parker has condemned Trump’s executive order banning arrivals from certain Muslim countries in an internal email to staff in which he said he was “moved” by Sir Mo Farah’s “powerful statement”.
Parker’s message called on staff to stand up for the brand’s values of celebrating diversity which he said were being threatened by the president's decision to halt the entire US refugee programme and impose a 90-day travel ban for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
“Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity,” said Parker. “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.”
Four-time Olympic gold medallist and Nike brand ambassador Farah, who was born in Somalia before moving to England aged eight, branded Trump’s ban as “ignorant and prejudiced” in statement posted to Facebook.
“The Queen made me a knight, Donald Trump made me an alien,” said Farah.
The British long-distance runner is currently training in Ethiopia and voiced his concerns that he will not be able to return to his home in Oregon while the ban is in effect.
"It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home — to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.”
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
Parker addressed Farah’s concerns in the letter saying he was “thinking of everyone who is impacted, like Sir Mo Farah”.
The said: “What Mo will always have — what the entire Nike family can always count on — is the support of this company. We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every member of our family: our colleagues, our athletes and their loved ones."
Parker’s messaged concluded: “Now, more than ever, let’s stand up for our values and remain open and inclusive as a brand and as a company.”
Parker is the latest senior business executive to criticise Trump's executive order with Google, Uber and Apple all voicing their concerns. Google went so far as to create a $4m humanitarian fund to assist organisations offering support to immigrants affected by the ban.