Nov 14, 2014 - Nike, N7, Kevin Durant & R*dskins? WTF.
Nike, N7, Kevin Durant, and R*dskins expect Natives to be silent, obedient and generally happy with just being included in the mainstream athletic-pop-culture-sphere it seems. No one from any of the aforementioned is saying anything about Nike throwing a R*dskins themed party, a Nike Zoom III R*dskins colored, personalized for Kevin Durant, shoe reportedly called “the R*dskin”, Kevin Durant being an N7 affiliate loved by Natives and having his own N7 shoes in production. Durant is the smoothest thing basketball has seen in a generation and is the preeminent star of Oklahoma City NBA Team “Oklahoma Thunder” (arguably the NBA) which is located in a major center of Indian Country. Kevin Durant, heavily respected and supported by Natives, has direct links to the R*dskins (being seen on the sidelines with Dan Snyder), Nike, and N7 and seems to think, or Nike seems to think rather, that Nike can continue to piss down our backs and tell us its raining.
Nike, historically known for its exorbitant, artificially inflated, advert industry driven prices it is able to coax out of naive consumer masses and turn insane profits because of the low-cost of slave-like labor camps, or sweatshops as they are also known as, has not been responding to or issuing any declarations or policy statements or giving any clue regarding recent controversy as to whether or not it will continue to allow Dan Snyder to push the abusive practice of Indian mascotry, objectification, stereotypes etc. out into the world via Nike as if Natives have no problem whatsoever with their jackassery. We, the forward thinking Native people and non-Native allies that recognize the spiritually and psychologically destructive impact on Native esteem and Native/Non-Native perceptions regarding Natives resulting from Indian mascots, are here to tell you that the time of 2nd class Indians is over. You Nike, Kevin Durant and any others who want to jump into the filth filled, capital and/or White privileged bed that Dan Snyder lies in, need to know that we cannot sit idle. Any one who cares about their children, regardless of “race”, will not sit idle.
We support all individual Native Athletes showcased as part of Nike’s N7 brand effort aimed at Native Youth; however few things are more damaging to those Native youth than allowing the R*dskins (& all that comes with Indian objectification) to poison and de-humanize young, impressionable, developing psyches and esteems. The athletes themselves are not responsible for what Nike does. Do not buy your kid’s Nike’s until Nike and/or Kevin Durant come clean with Native America about the future of their apparent support for the disrespectful appropriation of Native people by looking the other way when N7 and Kevin Durant (an N7 collaborative athlete) are attached to Native people while at the same time allowing for Dan Snyder’s obtuse effort to hold onto the R*dskins name to taint the good work they do. Staying neutral is choosing the side of oppression. Kevin Durant is the baddest in the NBA and we wish him well this season THUNDER-UP! But you understand we have to stand up for what’s right. We don’t really expect KD, the N7 athletes or even (sadly) N7 to call out Nike as they are professional athletes trying to make a living and subject to Nike’s will. However, Nike should know enough not to let this Dan Snyder situation slip; it’s bad business to be caught on the wrong side of history.