Image via Unsplash Adeolu Eletu

Image via Unsplash Adeolu Eletu

When my husband Yanick and I first met, he and a number of other Cameroonian students were being used by the Cypriot basketball team as practice players. The Cameroonian students had been defrauded by the Cypriot Universities which sponsored their visas, promising a right to work while studying, only to find out it was a lie. Though the African players had better stamina, drive, and athletic performance, no one would have accepted that such high-paying jobs go to Africans. Now, as Yanick’s widow, I regret not being “louder” about this.

Though I lost my husband tragically, I cannot begin to understand what the mother of Jayren Bradford felt. Bradford was shot and killed at a Nike Dukes Release at a Shoe Palace in LA while attempting to break up an argument over a shoe raffle. To lose a husband is a terribly painful thing, but to lose a child is an entirely different space in hell. Bradford’s mother is now suing Shoe Palace and Nike, and I hope the case is successful, although there is no amount of money that can ease her grieving.

Nike needs to turn this gross public tragedy and negligence into something positive. Nike is at a critical tipping point in the profitability of its business model. Nike has been successful as a publicly traded company, in spite of its high P/E ratio. They’ve been a high dividend-paying stock with a decent cost of entry, and a staple in many investors’ portfolios. However, their stock performance has been abysmal the last two years, in spite of the fact that value stocks have fared much better in this recessionary market.

Can Nike Repeat Its October-November Bull Run?

Though Nikes Q3 earnings were (very!) weak, October and November usually give Nike shares a 17-20% boost. Nike has already forecast potential slower sales into the winter and Christmas season, blaming the economy for their drop in sales and glut of inventory. However, economic data does not necessarily support this. Wage growth has remained high, at 5% month over month in many states. Though wages are not growing as fast as inflation, they’re certainly at a rapid enough pace that one cannot just assume a drop in sales is because of the wider economy.

Will Nike Shares Drop to New Lows?

Between negative publicity and poor movement of Nike products, it is clear Nike has a lot of work to get its stock back to all-time highs. I know Nike has had some phenomenal partnerships, and NIL deals with many young up-and-comers, including LeBron James’ own son, but is any of this enough? We will have to see!

Grieving, Basketball, and Nikes

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