Several Nike stores were closed in South Africa on Wednesday following public outcry over a racist comment made in a video by a man that local media said had links to the sportswear company.
In the video, taken at a beach resort, a white man with a South African accent says: “And not one kaffir in sight. Fucking heaven on earth.” The “K word” is known in South Africa as an apartheid-era slang for a black person. It is regarded as a deeply offensive slur just like the “N word” in the United States of America.
Local online news service, Times Live said the man in the video was married to a merchandising director at Nike.
They should only taken action against the person that said those things not the company itself.
Reactions were mixed.
“They should only taken action against the person that said those things not the company itself”, said Johannesburg resident, Terrel McCaulty.
“It’s nicer when you are racist in my face so I can see exactly who you are. It’s unfortunate that he has to say that but his business defiantly has to take a knock and I hope it does, I hope all his other chains take a knock for sure”, said Sibusiso Shongwe.
Reuters said it was unable to independently verify the person’s identity.
South African media reported Nike stores had closed their doors and Reuters’ witnesses confirmed that two were shut at a mall in the Sandton district of Johannesburg.
Nike declined to comment on the store closures, but issued a statement reiterating its “long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect”. It added that the man seen in the video posted online was not a staff member.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a party known for its hard-left and African nationalist positions, said it would file a criminal complaint against the man in the video.