We were dismayed this week to learn that in the midst of a national financial crisis, Nike plans to introduce the most expensive basketball shoe ever to hit the market, the $315 LeBron X Nike Plus.
To release such an outrageously overpriced product while the nation is struggling to overcome an unemployment crisis is insensitive at best. It represents twisted priorities and confused values.
To paraphrase Nike's advertising slogan: Just don't do it.
We’ve asked Nike to abandon its plans for the shoe, and we implore parents not to spend scarce resources on an empty status symbol.
Parents struggle to give their children every advantage, and while expensive shoes might draw admiration, achievement is the advantage that truly matters. Those dollars would better be spent on computers, books and school supplies.
Nike advertised heavily during the 2012 Olympics, promoting a message of personal achievement and self-esteem. These sneakers don’t represent the values that Nike has tried to project.
Furthermore, the economic crisis has escalated violence and crime in many urban communities. Tragically, overpriced sneakers have become a false symbol of status, oftensparking violence.
I’ve asked Nike - and the parents whose children are targeted in this misdirected campaign - to join us in our efforts to empower young people to value their own talents - athletic and otherwise - above material tokens and work together for broader access to the economic mainstream.