Nike will make Juneteenth will a paid holiday for its employees.
The June 19 holiday is observed by black Americans as the day when enslaved Africans in the United States were told they were free in 1865.
In an internal memo shared today, June 11, Chief Executive Officer John said, “When we say that Black Lives Matter, it applies to the world outside of Nike and, importantly, it applies to our black teammates within Nike.
“Simply put, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard given the heritage of our company and our brand.”
The executive said its employees have said there is a disconnect between the brand stance on race publicly and what they experience there.
The Juneteenth observation comes in the midst of an ongoing discussions and protests in the US, spurred by the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis almost three weeks ago.