A racist video that went viral on Tuesday has forced many Nike stores in South Africa to shut down.
In the video, businessman Adam Catzavelos was describing a South African beach as “heaven on earth” because he couldn’t find any ‘kaffir’ – a derogatory term for black people in South Africa used particularly during the Apartheid era.
One would wonder why a careless video made by a flipant racist businessman would affect the international fashion company. This was until online trolls discovered that Catzavelos is married to Kelly Catzavelos, a brand merchandise manager for Nike Africa.
This discovery of Catzavelos’ wife’s links to Nike prompted calls on Twitter for people to boycott Twitter. Members of leftist political party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has said that they would file a criminal complaint against Catzavelos.
In their reaction, Nike issued a statement saying Adam Catzavelos was not their employee.
The statement reads:
“Nike opposes discrimination and has a long-standing commitment to diversity‚ inclusion and respect. We believe in the power of human potential in everyone – of every race‚ religion‚ nationality‚ gender and sexual orientation.
“We can also confirm that Adam Catzavelos is not a Nike employee.”