The latest news cycle reminds us that placing money over morality carries a very high karmic price, and the Nike footprint on Eugene has elevated the city as a sports mecca, but at a punitive moral cost.
Alberto Salazar was recently banned for four years for his involvement with a blood-doping scheme of professional Nike athletes. Now the media focus is on Nike emissary LeBron James, who refuses to criticize China for its strong-arm treatment of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
For those who are unaware, James has signed a $1 billion lifetime endorsement deal with Nike. The NBA loves China, as China is the last frontier for selling all the NBA merchandise, including the requisite Nike sneakers to the basketball-loving Chinese.
LeBron jerseys and images are now being burned on the streets of Hong Kong, yet nobody is protesting here in Tracktown.
Let us not forget that in many ways Nike is not unlike the Chinese government, exploiting Vietnamese women who have built up the Nike coffers through near slave-labor conditions in the shoe factories. Let us be mindful of how far we should go as a society in the pursuit of financial success.
We are confusing money with wealth.