Post Classifieds

"The Nike Xavier Student"

By Ryan Lavalley
On November 1, 2011

After reading

Andrew Bush's opinion column in last week's Newswire I thought for a moment that Nike had hired a new publicist based out of Xavier University, or at least this is what I hoped. In reading his article, which hails Nike as "a company breeding success," and claims immense benefit to the relationship between the company and Xavier, I came to the conclusion that there is a phenomenon that has seemed to emerge at our University: "The Nike Xavier Student."

It seems as though some of us have begun to consider the Xavier "X" to be synonymous with the Nike Swoosh—an essential

symbol for the identity and success of our school. I will spare any lecture about the well-known and countless human rights violations,

inhumane working conditions

and abusive environmental practices that have been proven effects of "the great people at Nike." Instead, I will simply focus on the absurd idea that Nike somehow improves the quality of Xavier University. I understand

that Xavier feels the need to engage marketing ploys in order to build more structures with toilets that flush six times per use, but there are many reasons

why Xavier does not need to depend on this corporate, human rights violator to ensure its success.

First, to imply Nike was the cause for Xavier basketball success or the success of any of the other NCAA men's basketball teams encourages us to demean the talent of the players by reducing their skill to contingency upon the "Hyperelite" threads they wear. I am no expert on the effects of uniforms and clothing but I am fairly certain our basketball players could play just as well whether they were sporting sick Nike swag or their siblings' hand-me-down gym shorts. It is simple profit-based business practice to search for the up-and-coming teams, negotiate a contract with them and bear the fruits of their success. We are proud of the basketball players' talent, the talent that has made Xavier a national name, not the clothes they wear. We have to remember that we are allowing

Nike to use our brand and to gain profit from our fans, not the other way around. The latter dismisses any pride or respect we have for our University and the tradition it was built upon. If we are proud Xavier students our pride does not need to include the corporate Nike.

We are proud of the Jesuit tradition that encourages

us to challenge


profit before person and structural injustices like those within the apparel industry.

To imply

that Nike has somehow improved the quality of our Jesuit University's functioning

is not only ridiculous but irresponsible. Traditionally, Jesuits founded universities in impoverished communities to create opportunities for those who have been denied human rights and a quality education. To say that Nike in any capacity supports Jesuit universities in fulfilling their mission is simply incomprehensible and frankly humorous. Nike contradicts the reasons why a Jesuit education exists.

Again, to see Nike as improving

Xavier is false, rather our contract with the Nike Corporation creates a relationship

between Xavier and Nike. If we fail to use that relationship for the betterment

of the human beings making Xavier apparel, then we are allowing a corporation seriously in need of improvement

to soil the reputation and tradition of the Xavier "X." So, I encourage all the students who believe our relationship with Nike is a good thing to continue believing

that, but not because Nike improves Xavier rather because it is an opportunity for Xavier to improve Nike.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Recent The Xavier University Newswire News Articles

Discuss This Article



Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format