Viral Video of a Woman in a Burqa Featuring Nike Logo Prompts Calls for Boycott

Published December 31st, 2019 - 06:47 GMT
Nike Under Fire After a Video of a Saudi Woman Wearing Burqa With Their Logo Went Viral
Logos of Nike and other clothing brands are usually stitched into garments by local tailors in Saudi Arabia (Twitter)

Well-known sporting brand Nike has come under fire after a viral video featured a Saudi woman wearing a burqa with the Nike logo on it. Some Internet users responded with anger, urging Nike to stop supporting what they called the symbol of Muslim women’s ‘oppression'.

Nike has faced similar criticism on many occasions, ever since the brand decided to design sportswear for female hijabi athletes in 2017, after American sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made headlines upon earning the bronze medal as part of Team USA while wearing hijab in the 2016 Olympics.

However, Nike has never announced any plans to design face-covering burqas.

The video re-ignited the debate over feminism in conservative societies. While some considered the burqa oppressive, others considered it a personal choice and praised the idea of customizing sportswear to give women more choices. 

The video was originally filmed in Al Qurayyat city north of Saudi Arabia during a women's protest near a government building, ahead of a princess' visit.

Translation: "Al Qurayyat women break the silence" 

The woman wearing the Nike burqa can be heard speaking up against what she referred to as "corruption in the public sector" and demanding more services for the disadvantaged. 

Some Saudi users later clarified that the burqa was not made by Nike, but that logos of Nike and other international clothing brands are usually stitched into garments by local tailors, and are sold for as cheap as $3 by street vendors and in local shops.

Translation: "No way this is an original Nike. This must be bought from a street vendor or an abaya shop for 35 Saudi Riyals maximum."

Translation: "Do you mean that Nike is now making hijabs and burqas? I've bought a Gucci burka for 10 Saudi Riyals in Taiba market"


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