An Inclusive Litany

6/19/00

Nike, attempting to cast off its image as master of Third World sweatshops and trying its best to appear more progressive, enlisted track-and-field star Marion Jones to complain, on camera, about the disparity in pay between male and female athletes.

"Why are our sisters making less when they're busting their butts to the max?" Jones asks. "I'm speaking of pro women athletes. Are they playing any less hard than the fellas? Is their blood any less red? Whether it's tennis, track, or hoops, their sacrifice is the same. Yet women receive less. They deserve more. The more, the better.... Can you dig it?"

Yet Nike itself reportedly paid Michael Jordan $20 million per year for his endorsement deal, while it paid basketball star Chamique Holdsclaw a mere $1 million over five years, the most lucrative ever for a female athlete. A Nike executive explained that the Jones ads are not meant to represent Nike's own policy on equal pay, but to open discussion on the issue.

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