Nike in hot water over ‘racist’ ad


Nike is facing new calls for a boycott after it released a controversial anti bullying advert addressing discrimination in Japan with some critics accusing the company of wading into politics for profit.

Some have called the ad "amazing" saying it "cuts into the issue" faced by minorities living in Japan. But the two-minute ad has also faced severe backlash, with critics accusing the company of creating a "false impression of Japan" to try and sell running shoes.

The two minute ad follows the "real-life experience" of three young female soccer players from different racial backgrounds. One girl is Japanese, one Korean, and one girl is from a mixed race background.

The trio then "overcome their daily struggles and conflicts to move their future through sports".

The video attracted almost 10 million views and sparked a heated debate, attracting more than 35,000 comments. It's received 65,000 up votes and 45,000 down votes on the site.

A number of commenters vowed to never buy Nike products ever again and accused the company of wading into politics for profit.


The Nike ad has sparked a heated debate about racism in Japan.
The Nike ad has sparked a heated debate about racism in Japan.

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"I won't buy Nike ever again," said a comment translated by SoraNews24.

"Is Japan really such a country full of discrimination? It feels like you're creating a false impression of Japan," another said

"I feel this depicts Japanese as being extremely inhumane," another commented.

"I'm sad that all Japanese people are misunderstood. There are many kind Japanese," one commenter wrote on YouTube.

But some commenters called the ad "amazing" and said the harsh reaction showed the campaign was having an effect.

"This is amazing. I feel like I've never seen a commercial that cuts into the issue of living in Japan and minorities in Japanese advertising," one person commented.

"This made me cry. It would be wonderful if we could stop young people having thoughts like this," another said.

"So good - I'm always buying Nike because of ads like this," another said.

"Number of 'dislikes' obviously shows why this campaign is so meaningful," another said.

It's not the first time Nike has faced threats of a boycott over its ads.

In 2018 the company launched an ad campaign with activist and NFL player NFL Colin Kaepernick. The ad featured the words: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything".

The ad sparked a backlash online with more than 42,000 people tweeting with the hashtag #NikeBoycott on the day it was released.

Originally published as Nike in hot water over 'racist' ad