Nike’s latest ad campaign was online for just a few hours before historians on Twitter noticed a problem: the slogan, “The Lost Cause,” was intended to promote the brand’s new Trail Running collection, but it also called up a phrase with disturbing significance dating back to the years following the Civil War.
In that context, the Lost Cause refers to a revisionist interpretation of the Confederacy’s defeat that painted slavery as a benevolent institution and the war as a justified means to defend the antebellum way of life. As the Washington Post reports, historians like Amy Kohout were quick to point out the problem with the ad when it ran on March 30, and after just a few hours of tweets and comments directed at Nike’s Trail Running account and several sports retailers that posted the campaign, the brand pulled it from all platforms. (FN has reached out to Nike for comment.)
[email protected], I sure hope you don’t support the Lost Cause, which is a persistent Confederate and white supremacist ideology celebrating the values of the Old South and arguing that that the Civil War was not caused by slavery. Much violence has been done in its name. https://t.co/GPrZSNeDLu
— Amy Kohout (@amykohout)