As Black History Month enters its second week...
Major sports brand Nike has launched its new 'Equality' campaign with a short film directed by frequent Beyoncé video collaborator Melina Matsoukas.
The 90-second ad, which was aired at last night's Grammy awards, aims to "encourages people to take the fairness and respect they see in sport and translate them off the field”, according to a press release.
The message of equality, opportunity and discrimination is delivered loud and clear with narration by Michael B. Jordan set against Alicia Keys singing Sam Cooke’s 'A Change Is Gonna Come'.
The video stars American sporting heroes such as LeBron James, Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas.
As images of white lines on a basketball court appear in ad, the narrator says that:
“Here, you’re defined by your actions, not your looks or beliefs. Equality should have no boundaries.”
Further calls for equality are spoken throughout the video, with lines such as "“Opportunity should not discriminate” and “The ball should bounce the same for everyone.”
The campaign follows calls from sports apparel companies, including Nike and Adidas, for inclusiveness last month after US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Last week, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank praised Trump, causing Stephen Curry, one of the highest profile athletes on Under Armour’s roster, to say he agreed with Plank that Trump is an asset “if you remove the ‘et’.”
Nike is also releasing T-shirts that read “Equality” across the chest, as well as a special Black History Month line of sneakers.
According to Nike, “the BHM collection has historically provided financial support to Nike’s Ever Higher Fund, which was created to bring mentorship, sport, and all of its benefits to youth and their communities.”
The company recently announced plans to donate $5 million in 2017 to “numerous organisations that advance equality in communities across the U.S., including Mentor and PeacePlayers.”