Several Nike stores in South Africa shut its doors after a video surfaced of an employee’s husband making racist remarks.
Adam Catzavelos sparked public outcry after posting a video describing the scene at a beach as “heaven on earth” because no black people were in the area. The businessman, who is married to Nike Africa’s brand merchandise manager Kelly Catzavelos, used a deeply offensive South African slur, kaffir, equivalent to the N-word.
Meet Adam Catzavelos, husband to Kelly Catzavelos who is the Merchandising director at Nike. Both of them have deleted their social media pages. @Twinsondecks @nealcol @robertmarawa @DJFreshSA @Julius_S_Malema. Let’s Name and shame. pic.twitter.com/Qjm8tN97Im
— Deigh-Jah Dox.. ⏺ (@deighjahdox) August 21, 2018
“Let me give you a weather forecast here,” says Catzavelos. “Blue skies, beautiful day, amazing sea and not one kaffir in sight.”
Some people on social media have threatened to boycott Nike.
— Bayi (@SitheloBayi) August 21, 2018
@Nike your silence is not doing you any good …. we have your address too … we can not separate the husband from his wife unfortunately. Time for a black competent lady to take charge
“A banye bonke ”
— OKSI (@BenniGeeGas) August 21, 2018
On the #AdamCatzavelos issue:
We have the power. Boycott the companies that support his business, write to his kids’ school for suspension, his gym for cancellation, his bank where his house is financed. We have to move the action from our thumbs on Twitter to the real world.
— Vusi Thembekwayo (@VusiThembekwayo) August 22, 2018
Nike released a statement saying it “opposes discrimination and has a long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect.” The clothing brand did not confirm the store closures, but says Adam Catzavelos does not work for Nike. Catzavelos was fired from the family-owned food manufacturer he worked for. His relatives disavowing Catzavelos’ remarks.
“The family of Adam Catzavelos is appalled by the video in question,” said the family in a statement. “It is abhorrent and we fully disassociate ourselves from the sentiments expressed.”
Several companies announced it was boycotting St. George’s Fine Foods.
Please note that as we’re boycotting #AdamCatzavelos, we currently have no steak basting sauces available at our branches. Come enjoy a peppered crust or salt & peppered cut while we find a new supplier that mirrors our values
— The Butcher Shop (@ButchershopSA) August 22, 2018
We are aware of the #AdamCatzavelos video. The Baron Group have a zero-tolerance policy on racism and will be serving our steaks without basting while we find another supplier.
The Baron Group pic.twitter.com/i43RoQWMXF
— The Baron Fourways (@Baron4ways) August 22, 2018
So far it’s unclear if Catzavelos’ wife will face any repercussions with Nike. Meanwhile, South Africa’s far-left party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, announced it was opening a case against Catzavelos with local police.
[WATCH] “We are hoping and praying that white people get the message… We are not going to tolerate name-calling,” says EFF’s @MandisaMashego as the party opened a case against #AdamCatzavelos at the Bramley police station. pic.twitter.com/W2NFkHBErD
— Eyewitness News (@ewnupdates) August 22, 2018
“We are not going to tolerate name-calling,” said EFF leader Mandisa Mashego. “We are not going to stand by and allow any white person feeling the privilege they’ve endured of 376 years at our expense. We are not going to be tolerant of being called the K-word or any other name.”