In an advertisement that aired during the Olympic Games on Monday, the athletics apparel company Nike lauded a female athlete who identifies as a man and serves on the U.S. men’s national team.
The commercial, which is part of Nike’s “Unlimited” campaign, features Chris Mosier, a duathlon and triathlon competitor who became the first “transgender” to garner a spot on the team.
“Hey, Chris? How’d you know you’d be fast enough to compete against men?” the commercial begins.
“I didn’t,” she replies.
“Or strong enough?” the announcer asks.
“I didn’t,” she again answers.
“Yeah, but how did you know the team would accept you?” the announcer inquires.
“I didn’t,” she replies.
“Or that you would even be allowed to compete?” the announcer continues.
“I didn’t,” she again responds.
“That must have been tough. Didn’t you ever just want to give up?” the announcer asks.
“Yeah,” she replies. “But I didn’t.”
The advertisement ends with the “Unlimited courage” slogan, and Nike’s characteristic “Just do it” motto.
Nike also posted an article about the advertisement on its website, stating that Mosier didn’t feel she was “competing as [her] authentic self” by participating in female athletics.
“Everything that I’ve done in the last five, six years since I started to transition, has been with [a] “Just Do It” mindset,” Mosier says in the piece. “I didn’t know if I would be competitive against men; I just did it.”
“By not stopping myself, not limiting myself and just really going for it, I’ve learned a lot about myself and also had the opportunity to further the conversation on trans inclusion in sports,” she states.
Mosier had obtained a seventh place finish in the male 35-39 group for the sprint duathlon with a time of 01:02:45.48, landing her a spot on the national team.
“Being the first trans man on a U.S. men’s national team was a dream come true for me,” she said in a statement. “I always wanted my name on a jersey. To represent our country at the highest level, in my sport, is just outstanding. It’s just such an amazing opportunity—and an amazing opportunity for other people to see themselves reflected in someone succeeding in sports as a trans man.”
But not everyone is pleased with Nike’s support of Mosier identifying as and competing with men.
“The ad did not tell the public about what happens if a man competes as a woman and the disadvantages over women, or that if athletes take on the IOC for their LGBT policies, they will be reprimanded,” said Steve McConkey, president of the sports ministry 4WINDS. “Also, not about the long term problems with hormone therapy, especially with young people.”
He notes that Apple CEO Tim Cook, a homosexual, was recently selected to serve as lead independent director of Nike.
“Also, the Nike Foundation has given to organizations that support abortion, such as Planned Parenthood,” he said. “USA Track and Field is supported by Nike in a deal that is worth millions through 2040.”