players' sponsorship $ and ethics - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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players' sponsorship $ and ethics

I know there has been a lot of media coverage in recent years about various big sporting goods/apparel brands using child labour and sweatshops and various unethical practices.

Have any of the top players, many of whom routinely accept millions in sponsorship deals from these companies, ever been directly asked about this? If, for example, Davenport can earn over $10 million from winning tennis matches, does she really need the extra cash from Nike, who to my knowledge, have been accused of using child labour etc? I'm just using Lindsay as an example, not picking on her specifically. Do interviewers ever ask these questions in post-match chats??

If not, why not?
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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I don't think reporters ever asked such questions to players. I don't know why, but maybe they (reporters) were told beforehand not to mention those issues...
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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I dont' know, I've also wondered about this. I mean part of me says fair play, they've gotta earn all the money they can (especially lower ranked players) because their career won't last very long. But then on the other hand, it's not like the top players are short of a bob or two, and nike especially has questionable ethics. I wonder if they take this into account when they accept a sponsorship deal?

I don't know what other companies are like I think those companies who have good ethics should make a big deal out of it, because I'd feel a lot better knowing someone wasn't exploited to make me a t-shirt.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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I remember in the US there was a college football player that refused to wear the jersey on the field. It caused a stir and then that was it. If you google nike sweatshop you will find all kinds of sites devoted to anti-Nike.
'3rd world employment opportunity' is what Nike calls it by using countries like Cambodia.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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The only reason they get paid a fortune to wear outfits no different to what you can get in a supermarket is because people pay big wads of cash to wear them.

Unfortunately I think that until people stop buying these overpriced clothes the ethics issue is falling on deaf ears.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiler
I dont' know, I've also wondered about this. I mean part of me says fair play, they've gotta earn all the money they can (especially lower ranked players) because their career won't last very long. But then on the other hand, it's not like the top players are short of a bob or two, and nike especially has questionable ethics. I wonder if they take this into account when they accept a sponsorship deal?

I don't know what other companies are like I think those companies who have good ethics should make a big deal out of it, because I'd feel a lot better knowing someone wasn't exploited to make me a t-shirt.
Nike isn't the only one, and had 2B dragged kicking and screaming into a pledge of paying LOCAL living wages in these countries, whom the manufacturers "play off against eachother". And then to actually monitor compliance by their subcontractors.

Even with compliance, of course the living wage in poor countries is far lower than in developed ones. And (Nike) only agreed to pay even that based on the living costs of a single adult, not a family. So in effect they're contributing to child labor by causing families to have to send their children to work in other fields, like agriculture for example.

Your last paragraph raises an interesting question, presuming that you meant you prefer to wear t-shirts, etc. that are endorsed by tennis players and other celebrities: WHY? Hell, if someone wants me 2B a "walking billboard", give me the damn stuff for free and call it a trade. Also: lets say you're buying a camera. How the hell does Masha's expensive endorsement make Canon better than rival brands? (Or the old Andre ad campaign for them).

So as Pogo once said: "We have met the enemy and he is us". In other words, if we all just stop indirectly paying athletes for the "privilege" of displaying their names, and stop letting ads by ppl who don't know more than you or I about how brands of whatever compare... those endorsements will disappear of their own dead weight. BTW, has anyone here chosen a Sony-Ericsson cellphone because it bought naming rights to the WTA Tour?
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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It's a complex issue too. Yuppie yahoos protest to try and close down the "child sweat-shops", but if they went to the countries involved and protested they'd likely be ripped to pieces for taking away jobs that feed people in desperate need to work.

In the clash bretween ethics and tennis players purses the money nearly always wins--

They all take illegal gurentees out the wazoo.
Neptuneslims mentioned Nike. I bet the other maufacturers are just as bad.
The Willies (and Tracy Austin,etc)plugged MacDonald's-a health hazard.
Evert and King played in South Africa for big bucks under apartheid.

The entire tour was sponsored for years by a cigarette company.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo
The Willies (and Tracy Austin,etc)plugged MacDonald's-a health hazard.
Evert and King played in South Africa for big bucks under apartheid.

The entire tour was sponsored for years by a cigarette company.
Please!

I'm so damn tired of stupid ass people blaming
everyone else for their own issue's. No one forced
you to open your damn mouths either way.

And as far as BJK & Chris, not everyone
is looking to make a social/political statement.

Fact of the matter is you're always gonna be able
to find fault with anyone for anything. No matter
how large or how minute.

Political, social, economical, ect...so long as money is
involved someone can always find away to bemoan
practically anything.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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Tennis careers only last for 10 years (ofcourse there's those who make it shorter and those who make it longer). Many of these players have left high school early (ie not finishing, etc). Once their tennis career is over, they may not have a strong base to survive on. Ofcourse there are legends like the Williams sisters and Davenport (and many more) that can survive on their reputation however many secondary players have their futures to worry about. It's difficult for many with University and College education to survive, imagine without high school. Many players need to get as much money, from as many areas, in order to secure their future. Besides, if the companies are willing to pay - it must be worth it. (except Nikes deal with Serena. They go screwed big time )

This is going to sound harsh/unethical; I don't see why child labour is such a big deal. And why are companies penalized for it? I'm sure many will disagree with me and I'll further explain that and defend myself once I've been sent down the closeline.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavy_Hitter
This is going to sound harsh/unethical; I don't see why child labour is such a big deal. And why are companies penalized for it? I'm sure many will disagree with me and I'll further explain that and defend myself once I've been sent down the closeline.
Well, I see it as it's always easy to be ethical
and preach it from a soapbox when one is simply
speaking in theory. Speaking in some romantic utopian ideal.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Nike openly accepted the fact that their factories are in poor conditions but they don't do anything about it. There is a documentary in which the CEO refuses to go to see one of their factories in 3rd world countries.

The McDonalds tour was really ugly too. It's a way to change attention - showing look McDonalds is associated with sports whereas in reality you should change the word sports with obesity.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 01:50 PM
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I know Kathy Lee Gifford, and to a lesser extent Jacqueline Smith, took a lot of heat because their clothing lines were (perhaps still are, can't remember) manufactured in Central American sweatshops. While it would be nice to have players "boycott" these companies for this, it's the whole consumer issue larger than the companies. People don't want to pay for stuff that is manufactured in non-sweat shop conditions because it's too expensive and they don't care; they only care about price.

Whitney Houston and her receipts:

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthrea...17447&page=324
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 01:50 PM
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NIke, be damned, the tour was sponsored for more than a decade by Virginia Slims. The irony of that is that women players were taking sponsorship money from a company peddling a product very few of them would use, because they knew the product was a health hazard. But they didn't seem to mind recommending that other people use that product.

On those rare occasions when the press ever asked them about it, they would mumble something vague about not actually endorsing the product, or that they didn't think of Virginia Slims as a cigarette company. I guess they thought of it as a charity that just bestowed money on them for no reason whatsoever.

Eventually, of course, cigarette advertising was banned on TV, so they could no longer stand up in front of those big Virginia Slims banners on the back of the court and pretend that they didn't notice it.

What I always wanted to do was to ask Chrissy (who I am a huge fan of, by the way) and Martina and BJ and all of the rest of them:

"What are you gonna tell your kids about tobacco? Are you going to advise your own kids to use cigarettes or not use them, or just duck the whole lung cancer, heart disease, emphazima issue and say, hey, good luck?"
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen Lawson
I know Kathy Lee Gifford, and to a lesser extent Jacqueline Smith, took a lot of heat because their clothing lines were (perhaps still are, can't remember) manufactured in Central American sweatshops. While it would be nice to have players "boycott" these companies for this, it's the whole consumer issue larger than the companies. People don't want to pay for stuff that is manufactured in non-sweat shop conditions because it's too expensive and they don't care; they only care about price.
Money talks.

The fact of the matter I think is that you can find some shady dealings going on in nearly every facit in whatever goods are obtained, from Ivory Coast children being forced to pick coca beans for our consumption of various types of chocolate to Cambodian children in sweat shops being forced/paid to make clothing.

And while a majority of the blame is placed on manufacturer's it wouldn't continue unless the people themselves wanted to put a stop to it and obviously the majority doesn't. They don't like child labour, but at the same time don't want to give up the luxuries they get because of it. Actions speaking louder than words.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paneru
Money talks.

The fact of the matter I think is that you can find some shady dealings going on in nearly every facit in whatever goods are obtained, from Ivory Coast children being forced to pick coca beans for our consumption of various types of chocolate to Cambodian children in sweat shops being forced/paid to make clothing.

And while a majority of the blame is placed on manufacturer's it wouldn't continue unless the people themselves wanted to put a stop to it and obviously the majority doesn't. They don't like child labour, but at the same time don't want to give up the luxuries they get because of it. Actions speaking louder than words.
You're one of the rich ones in Vietnam I guess?
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