Caitlyn Jenner slammed Nike for turning “woke” Thursday over its partnership with trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney — seven years after her own collaboration as a trans woman with a sportswear line.
Jenner, who transitioned in 2015, called out the athletic wear company after Mulvaney unveiled the brand deal in a series of Instagram posts Wednesday, where she modeled Nike pants and a sports bra.
“Alert the media — I’m entering my workout era,” Mulvaney, a trans woman and the company’s newest paid brand ambassador, wrote in a caption to her 2 million followers.
Jenner, who was recently named a Fox News contributor, called the brand partnership “an outrage.”
“As someone that grew up in awe of what [Nike co-founder] Phil Knight did, it is a shame to see such an iconic American company go so woke!” she tweeted. “We can be inclusive but not at the expense of the mass majority of people, and have some decency while being inclusive. This is an outrage.”
She did not explain how Nike partnering with Mulvaney harmed “the mass majority of people,” but tweeted, “STOP TRYING TO ERASE WOMEN” in all caps.
Yet in 2016 — the year after she transitioned — Jenner had a very different attitude when talking about trans people and brand partnerships. At the time, she was chosen as one of the faces of the fashion company H&M’s sportswear line, H&M Sport.
“Sportswear and sports are great ways to bring out a message and to create understanding,” Jenner told InStyle of the campaign in June 2016. “This is an issue of humanity. It doesn’t have borders. It affects every race, every color of skin. It doesn’t make any difference who you are. To be involved with H&M on a global basis, to bring understanding, is really important.”She also said the world had “a long way to go” in opening the discussion about transgender acceptance.
“Trans issues have been swept under the rug for so many years. Nobody could talk about them. Nobody knew anyone who was trans,” Jenner said. “Kids have a very difficult time when they’re young and dealing with this issue, and that’s where the big suicide rates are. But you shouldn’t have to move, or change schools, in order for your child to live authentically. Hopefully we are showing people that it’s OK to talk about it.”
According to a 2020 study by four university researchers, 56% of trans youth attempted suicide at least once and 86% said they experienced suicidal thoughts.It’s unclear what prompted Jenner’s change of heart.
Twitter users shared mixed feelings in the replies to her most recent tweet about Nike and Mulvaney.
“‘Outrage’ is a bit over the top. Is it okay to market to a minority group?” another person replied. “The same people who are so ‘outraged’ by cancel culture sure do want to cancel a whole lot of things these days… beer, books, Disney.”
Others said they agreed with the reality TV star.
“Not since Caitlyn appeared on a Wheaties box have I been more proud to say that Jenner represents the best of what being an American means!!” one user tweeted.
Both Nike and Bud Light have faced backlash from conservatives for their partnerships with Mulvaney, a TikTok star with more than 10 million followers.Mulvaney recently spoke about how she deals with the negative comments and hate she receives as an openly trans woman on “The Drew Barrymore Show.”
“I think the greatest weapon that I can contribute is trans joy … I’m not somebody that is trying to do anything but be myself and be happy,” she said.