The brutal killing of, an African-American man in a neighbourhood south of downtown Minneapolis, US, has sent shockwaves around the world. The cold-blooded murder sparked massive outrage acrossand led to violent protests, with stores being vandalised, public property being damaged and police officers being attacked.
Several brands have lent their support to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Brands, almost unanimously condemned racism and racial discrimination and have advocated for social justice post Floyd’s death.
‘Just Don’t Do It’
Popular retail brand Nike, which, since time immemorial, has been known for its popular tagline, ‘Just Do It’, has changed it, and is now going with ‘For once, don’t do it’. A video posted on Nike’s Twitter handle, urges Nike’s 8.2 million Twitter followers, to not ‘pretend that there’s no problem in America’ and to not ‘turn your (their) back on racism.’
Nike shared the video with #UntilWeAllWin. Adidas, Nike’s cut-throat competitor in the retail space shared the video, with the message, ‘Together is how we move forward’.
Together is how we make change.’
Together is how we move forward. Together is how we make change.
— adidas (at 🏡) (@adidas)
However, Nike soon got backlash for its tweet, with some people pointing out that Nike does not have a single black person in their executive leadership team, even though the company allegedly makes ‘billions out of Black sports people and consumers’.
@Nike Hey @Nike, ‘Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America.’ Not one Black person on your executive leadershi…
— Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop)
Speaking of shoe companies Reebok, which operates in the same retail space as Nike and Adidas, sent out a tweet titled, ‘To the Black community’. “We are not asking you to buy our shoes. We are asking you to walk in someone else’s,” read the tweet.
To the black community: We see you. We stand in solidarity with you. This can no longer be the status quo.
— Reebok (@Reebok)
The somewhat-interesting and mostly-heartfelt wordplay on ‘shoes’ drove home the point about systematic racism. However, there were Twitterati who questioned what resources Reebok was providing to combat racism.
@Reebok @DJ_illAdvised Thank you for this statement. What resources are providing?
— I’m going to be on broadway (@shekinahsays)
Tech Giants Unite
That’s not all. Streaming giant Netflix, too, sent out a tweet to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. “We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up,” read the tweet.
To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members…
— Netflix (@netflix)
While Netflix’s stand was limited to a tweet, Twitter went a step further and changed its logo which showed its popular blue-coloured bird in a black avatar. Twitter also made a powerful statement by updating its bio to #BlackLivesMatter.
Twitter also retweeted a post from Twitter Together, which was titled, “Racism does not adhere to social distancing.” The tweet added that amid the Covid-19 pandemic fears, the long-standing injustices of black and brown people have been brought to light.
Racism does not adhere to social distancing.Amid the already growing fear and uncertainty around the pandemic, th…
— Twitter Together (@TwitterTogether)
Speaking of updating logos, popular photo-sharing website Instagram also decided to go black and changed its display picture from the popular pink-hued icon to a black-coloured one. In an effort to bring about a positive change and combat racism, Instagram came up with a hashtag #ShareBlackStories in an effort to raise voices that make a lasting impact.
“To continue that impact, @facebook is pledging $10 million to efforts committed to ending racial injustice. #BlackLivesMatter,” read the post.
In what can be called a bold move, WarnerMedia brands, including HBO, TBS and the newly introduced HBO Max, changed their Twitter names to #BlackLivesMatter.
Apart from Twitter, Instagram and Netflix, tech giant Google, too, lent support to racial equality. Google CEOsent out a tweet saying that on the US pages of Google and YouTube, the company is standing in solidarity with the movement.
‘We stand in support of racial equality and all those who search for it,’ read the message on Google’s homepage. “For those feeling grief, anger, sadness & fear, you are not alone,” read the tweet.
Today on US Google & YouTube homepages we share our support for racial equality in solidarity with the Black commun…
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai)