Texas Farm Bureau bans employees from wearing Nike at work, then walks it back some

Texas Farm Bureau bans employees from wearing Nike at work, then walks it back some
The Texas Farm Bureau banned employees from representing the company in Nike gear. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

Nike’s stock has soared higher than ever, but various boycotts from schools and companies around the nation continue, with the Texas Farm Bureau being one of the latest to take a side, according to KWTX-TV.

The Texas Farm Bureau issued an email to employees on Friday to let them know that, in order to avoid controversy, it was banning them from wearing Nike “while representing the company.”

“There is a wide range of viewpoints on the Nike controversy,” the email read. “Texas Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies employees are asked to not wear Nike branded apparel while representing the companies. We are choosing to remove our companies from this controversy by discontinuing the use of Nike branded apparel for business purposes. The attire you choose on your own time is a personal matter.”

The “controversy” is Nike’s ad campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the originator of the national anthem social justice protests.

What was the response?

Word of the ban traveled quickly to social media, where some users called for citizens to contact the company and make their opinion known.

At that point, a company representative replied on Twitter with a clarification of the policy.

“Our request of employees only applies to Texas Farm Bureau branded apparel,” the representative wrote. “All other apparel items are a matter of personal choice. The decision was made to avoid the appearance of taking sides in this controversy. The KWTX story mentions most of this.”

This writer’s perspective

If the Texas Farm Bureau’s goal in this was neutrality, perhaps telling its employees that they can’t wear Nike (whether Farm Bureau branded or otherwise) wasn’t the best way to go.

In fact, it’s very likely that if the Texas Farm Bureau had not made any statement or sent any email to its employees about Nike, those individual employees would have simply made their own decision about whether to support the company after its Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.

Another example of a company getting in its own way and creating a controversy out of nothing.

(H/T Dallas Morning News)