Cleveland Cavaliers

We want to see you risk $90 million, Nader

I hate high priced shoes.

Ralph Nader is sick and tired of Nike and their damn sweatshops, so what does he do? He goes to Nike endorser LeBron James and asks him to shift the balance of power at corporate headquarters. In the second letter from Nader since LBJ joined the league in 2003, he asks the Cavs superstar to stand up for the workers in developing nations.

Mr. James, as someone who enjoys unsurpassed commercial influence and with it, great negotiating power, you are in a unique position to stand up for the people who make the products you endorse. We urge you to let Nike know that you support the rights of those workers by demanding that:

– Nike insist its contractors pay a living wage, under safe working conditions, that allows workers to meet their basic needs, and that Nike pay contractors enough to do this;

– Nike insist its contractors recognize independent unions and that factory management collectively bargain with these unions in good faith; and

– Nike agree to a program of factory monitoring through international unions and human rights organizations that are credible and completely independent of Nike.

You have a chance to make an impact around the world not just with your basketball playing ability, but for your generosity as a human being in helping to improve working conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers.

Sounds great, and all James has to do is bite the hand that is feeding him $90 million for simply smiling at the camera. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a good deal for King James’ empire.

But the best part of the letter is when Nader says that it’s cool for Stephon Marbury to benefit from “sweatshop factory conditions” because he is selling his sneaks for $15 instead of $150. Is it also all right for some coffee company to exploit workers in Columbia as long as you can get a cheap cup of joe?


[]: Nader asks LeBron James to help workers in Nike factories