Nike Renames Alberto Salazar Building After Lifetime Ban


Nike confirmed Tuesday that it has changed its name to the Alberto Salazar Building on its campus in Beaverton, Ore., a renowned distance running coach who has been banned from the sport for sexual and emotional abuse. The change is the dramatic and perhaps complete end of the relationship between Nike and Salazar, which has been tight-lipped for almost four decades.

The final straw seems to be a decision from the US SafeSport Center last month. Banned Salazar from sports for life. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee established the center in 2017 to protect athletes from sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Salazar can appeal the decision.

“This change follows SafeSport’s decision to permanently ban Alberto from coaching,” a Nike spokesperson said in a statement. “The nature of the allegations and the lifetime ban make it appropriate to rename the building.”

The building will now be called Next%, named after one of Nike’s running shoes. The renaming news was: first reported by Willamette Week.

Nike’s Beaverton campus It features a number of buildings named after some of the most famous swoosh-wearing athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Salazar was a former honoree, befitting his long and significant association with Nike in the 1990s.

In the 1980s, Salazar ran for Athletics West, a Nike-sponsored track team, and won the New York City Marathon three times and the Boston Marathon once. He worked in Nike’s marketing department in the early 1990s and was the Nike-funded coach of the Oregon Project distance running group for nearly 20 years.

Salazar is also close to Phil Knight, Nike’s co-founder and honorary chairman of the board. “Nearly every step I took was supported in one way or another by the vision embodied by Phil Knight and Nike,” Salazar wrote in his 2012 autobiography.

This is the third time in ten years that Nike has taken a name off a building after making a serious mistake. The Joe Paterno Child Development Center was renamed after the longtime Penn State football coach’s role in football. Jerry Sandusky harassment scandal The United States Anti-Doping Agency changed its name to the Lance Armstrong Fitness Center after it was determined that Armstrong had used prohibited substances throughout his cycling career.

Nike’s breakup with Salazar was not inevitable, and the first time he clashed with a sports management organization, Nike stood firmly behind him.

In 2019, an arbitration panel four-year ban against Salazar for violating various antidoping regulations. Throughout Usada’s investigation that led to the ban, Nike paid for the lawyers Salazar employed and many of the runners interviewed, and the company also said it would fund his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“It is wrong to suspend someone who acts in good faith for four years,” Mark Parker, CEO of Nike at the time, wrote. Salazar’s appeal is expected to be decided soon.

However, allegations of harassment and ill-treatment soon followed.

SafeSport did not elaborate why Salazar was banned, except to say it was due to sexual and emotional abuse. Organization in January 2020 temporarily prohibited Salazar joined track and field after a number of female runners who had previously trained under him, including Mary Cain, Amy Yoder Begley and Kara Goucher described what they said was psychological and verbal abuse by Salazar for years.

Salazar regularly embarrasses themselves in front of their teammates for their weight, and said Kabul he said he was “a victim of an abusive system, an abusive man.” Nike employees soon made a protest march in the reallocation of the Alberto Salazar Building undergoing renovations.

Salazar did not directly respond to SafeSport’s suspension, but said he did not encourage or embarrass Cain to stay at an unhealthy weight, but acknowledged that he may have made “emotional or insensitive comments”.

Over the past two years, Nike has slowly moved away from Salazar, with the building name renaming seemingly becoming permanent.

The Oregon Project was closed and Parker is retired as general manager of the company. (Nike said the retirement was not related to Salazar’s removal.) Most of Nike’s top athletics managers He left the company.

And when Salazar was banned from SafeSport last month, Nike was often belligerent on the defensive, instead just shrugging. “Alberto is no longer a contract coach,” he said in a three-sentence statement.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *