Mary Cain, a middle-distance runner, reports that her male coaches' constant demands she get “thinner, and thinner, and thinner” hurt her health and career. The crux of the problem: she joined a program operated by Nike, whose priority is selling shoes, not training athletes.
The New York Times:
The problem is so widespread it affected the only other female athlete featured in the last Nike video ad Cain appeared in, the figure skater Gracie Gold. When the ad came out in 2014, like Cain, Gold was a prodigy considered talented enough to win a gold medal at the next Olympics. And, like Cain, Gold got caught in a system where she was compelled to become thinner and thinner. She developed disordered eating to the point of imagining her own death.
“America loves a good child prodigy story, and business is ready and waiting to exploit that story, especially when it comes to girls,” said Lauren Fleshman, who ran for Nike until 2012. “When you have these kinds of good girls, girls who are good at following directions to the point of excelling, you’ll find a system that’s happy to take them. And it’s rife with abuse.”
It's a big warning to young athletes: Nike doesn't need all of its mannequins to be winners. The head coach, Alberto Salazar, would weigh her in front of her teammates and humiliate her if she failed to reach his arbitrary targets.
Consider how even after years of constant scandals, this sort of abuse still thrives at the place two opposed goals meet. An athletic requirement (reasonable weight management) justifies a marketing demand (“thinner, and thinner, and thinner”) that undermines and even destroys the athlete.
And here's what Nike got out of it: two print ads, as far as I can find in 2019, and two TV spots it has already removed from YouTube.
So this is the moment where Elliot Benchetrit asks the ballkid to peel his banana. I’m glad the umpire (John Blom) stepped in and told him off. pic.twitter.com/TK1GET68pG — Alex Theodoridis (@AlexTheodorid1s) January 19, 2020 Courtside at this weekend’s Australian Open, French tennis champ Elliot Benchetrit requested that a ball girl peel his banana. Apparently […]
[IMAGE: @markknoller] This is some real propaganda bullshit right here. Who thought it was okay? During the LSU vs CLEM playoffs tonight, they brought President Trump and his wife Melania on the field for the singing of the national anthem.
The International Olympic Committee -- long a swirling cesspool of corruption, censorship, and reputation-laundering for repressive regimes -- has attained a new low, issuing guidance to athletes competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that no political protests will be tolerated, specifically banning kneeling or raising fists.
Boxed wines have come a long way since their admittedly subpar debut, and it’s now possible to grab a box of wine that delivers a surprising amount of flavor and body for a price that won’t break the bank. This Boxxle Premium Wine Dispenser makes it even easier to enjoy your favorite bag-in-box wine by […]
If you’re interested in either beginning or furthering a career in graphic design, you need to have a thorough understanding of Adobe’s famed editing and illustration tools, and these bundles will get you to where you need to be for a fraction of what you’d pay for an in-class education. 1. The Essential Adobe Photoshop […]
Laptops are great when it comes to getting work done on the move, but sometimes you need a better and more responsive keyboard in order to get your work done away from your desktop. Here are six top-rated Bluetooth keyboards that will help you power through your tasks both at the office or while you’re […]