Nike has sparked widespread criticism after trans social media star Dylan Mulvaney shared a number of paid sponsorships for the sportswear company's women's clothing line. This comes less than a week after Mulvaney created controversy by becoming a paid partner for Bud Light.
Mulvaney — who just had her face put on honorary cans of Bud Light by beer maker Anheuser-Busch — posted videos and photos on her Instagram page Tuesday in which she modeled a pair of Nike leggings and a sports bra, and tagged Nike Women while linking to the products' pages. The photos have sparked fury among Nike loyalists who took to social media to slam the sportswear giant.
Bold Decision Backfires
In her most recent Nike photos, Mulvaney can be seen doing yoga in a bright backyard while wearing a pair of black skin-tight leggings and a white sports bra. The leggings and a white sports bra are the latest editions to Nike's female sports collection, the Alate bra and Zenvy.
"Home for a moment and leaning into cozy workout wear like with @nikewomen's newest Zenvy leggings and Alate bra! They're so comfortable and buttery soft, perfect for workouts and everyday wear! #feelyourall #teamnike #nikepartner," the trans woman captioned the photos.
The post stated that it was a "Paid partnership" with the sports company under her username.
Mulvaney's Instagram story had other advertisements for the sports bra and leggings in addition to the one on her page, one of which was a picture. The advertisement mentioned Nike and provided links where viewers could purchase the sports bra.
"Alert the media - I'm entering my workout era," she left a message on the story post.
Another ad on her story featured a video where she is dancing around the yard in her bare feet while simulating exercises and a positive tune is played in the background.
In a third paid partnership video with Nike, Mulvaney playfully pretended to exercise. Both Nike and Nike Ladies were mentioned in the post.
Drawing Everyone's Ire
Since then, several people have expressed their displeasure on social media that Nike had been given the sponsorship instead of a biological woman and are puzzled about who the company was attempting to target with its advertisements.
"I really used to enjoy @Nike as a brand but I will never wear another shoe from them after they feature Dylan Mulvaney as their new ambassador for women's clothing," wrote one user.
"Dylan Mulvaney is making the biggest mockery out of women and I am officially outraged following his collaboration," wrote another user.
"You chose him over all hardworking women who workout regularly in your activewear? What a damn damn shame. Absolutely disgusting."
"Nike Women have hired Dylan Mulvaney to be the new face of their Women's Bra & Sports Bra Range," wrote yet another user.
"A brand would likely pay someone like Dylan, who has 1.7 million followers + huge media attention around $50,000-100,000 for this! Why doesn't Nike pay a real women to promote a product that is solely for women?" wrote a fourth user.
Some claimed Mulvaney appeared to be mocking women by staging a "minstrel show" of femininity in the video, an accusation leveled at her in the past due to her content.
Mulvaney's most recent paid partnership comes hot off the heels of the one she had with Bud Light to promote the March Madness collegiate basketball tournament.
In an Instagram commercial, she partnered with the beer brand, she wrote, "Happy March Madness!! Just found out this had to do with sports and not just saying it's a crazy month! In celebration of this sports thing @budlight is giving you the chance to win $15,000! Share a video with #EasyCarryContest for a chance to win!! Good luck! #budlightpartner."
Anheuser-Busch, the manufacturer of beer, and Bud Lite faced harsh criticism for their alliance. Rock star Kidd Rock even uploaded a video of him using an assault rifle to destroy a stack of Bud Lite cases and yelling, "F**k Bud Light, and f**k Anheuser-Busch."
Mulvaney's sponsorship of Bud Light wasn't her first to draw criticism. There was uproar and calls to boycott Ulta Beauty after she appeared on the cosmetics company in October. critics labeled her as "misogynistic" for "appropriating" womanhood.