VOTE NOW FOR THE BEST OF ORLANDO® 2021!

The latest spin on Nike sweatshops 


Here it comes again, the "Gooberhead Award," given periodically to prominent figures who have their mouths running at full speed but don't seem to have their brains in gear.

Today's awardee is Maria Eitel, a first-time Goober winner, but given her position, I'll bet it won't be her last. Ms. Eitel has been named to a prestigious new job: Vice President for Corporate and Social Responsibility at Nike. Gosh, that's a heavy load to shoulder, huh? The giant shoemaker, a notorious sweatshop exploiter, announced that she'll now be responsible for shaping up Nike's labor practices. Company president Thomas Clarke declared that the hiring of Ms. Eitel signals Nike's commitment from the top to be a leader ... in global corporate citizenship.

Wow, she must be a tiger! Probably has a lot of experience in the fight against worldwide labor exploitation. It'll take a tough cookie to bend the Nike "swooshtika" toward justice, so let's check her credentials: Let's see, she's been a television reporter, a White House spokeswoman for the Bush Administration and a corporate affairs manager for Microsoft.

What? She's a PR flak, a political spinmeister, a corporate con artist! We're to believe that she'll hold Nike's golden feet to the fire? Who do they think they're kidding?

In her Nike debut, Ms. Eitel sounded more like a lap dog than a watch dog, declaring that criticism of the company's labor practices has not been justified because this is "a very complex issue." What a goober. There's nothing complex about the fact that Nike hires teen-age girls in Asia to make its pricey shoes, pays them subpoverty wages and allows them to be abused in the workplace. Nike's new "VP for Corporate Responsibility" is just another public-relations cover-up.

They can put French perfume on a skunk, butit still won't hide the stink.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Jim Hightower

More by Jim Hightower

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation