Caitlyn Jenner slammed Nike as she “woke up” to her partnership with trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney on Thursday — seven years after her own collaboration as a trans woman with a sportswear line.
Jenner, who switched in 2015, called the sportswear company after Mulvaney revealed the brand deal Wednesday in a series of Instagram posts in which 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 made a Fox News contributor, called the brand partnership “an outrage.”
“As someone who grew up in awe of something [Nike co-founder] Phil Knight did it, it’s a shame to see such an iconic American company waking up like this!” she tweeted. “We can be inclusive but not at the expense of the vast majority of people and have some decency while being inclusive. That’s a scandal.”
She didn’t explain how Nike’s partnership with Mulvaney hurt the vast majority of people, but tweeted “STOP TRYING TO ERASE WOMEN” in capital letters.
But in 2016 — the year after she made the switch — Jenner had a very different take on trans people and brand partnerships. Back then, she was chosen as one of the faces of fashion company H&M’s sportswear line H&M Sport.
“Sportswear and sports are great ways to spread a message and create understanding,” Jenner told InStyle of the campaign in June 2016. “This is a matter of humanity. It has no limits. It affects every race, every color of skin. It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s really important to be involved and understanding at H&M on a global basis.”
She also said the world has “a long way to go” to open up the discussion about transgender acceptance.
“Trans issues have been swept under the rug for so many years. Nobody could talk about her. Nobody knew anyone who was trans,” Jenner said. “Children have a very difficult time when they are young and dealing with this issue and that is where the high suicide rates are. But you shouldn’t have to move or change schools for your child to live authentically. Hopefully we’ll show people it’s okay to talk about it.”
According to a 2020 study by four university researchers, 56% of trans youth have attempted suicide at least once and 86% reported having suicidal thoughts.
It’s unclear what prompted Jenner’s change of heart.
Twitter users expressed mixed feelings in response to their recent tweet about Nike and Mulvaney.
“‘Outrage’ is a bit of an exaggeration. Is it okay to market to a minority?” another person replied. “The same people who are so ‘outraged’ about the cancel culture sure want to cancel a whole lot of things these days… beer, books, Disney.”
Others said they agreed with the reality TV star.
Both Nike and Bud Light faced backlash from conservatives for her partnerships with Mulvaney, a TikTok star with more than 10 million followers.
Mulvaney recently spoke on The Drew Barrymore Show about how she’s dealing with the negative comments and hate she receives as an openly trans woman.
“I think the biggest weapon I can bring is trans joy … I’m not someone who’s trying to do anything other than be myself and be happy,” she said.