Starting this weekend, Nike will reportedly terminate the contracts of unvaccinated employees, according to a report made in The Oregonian. Whilst Nike’s employees have had months to verify their vaccination against COVID-19, it’s reported that those who chose not to do so for religious or medical reasons will be asked to pack their things as soon as this Saturday.

The report that was made public via The Oregonian states that ’employees who have not fulfilled Nike’s self-imposed vaccine mandate will be let go on January 15.’

Nike – one of the largest employers in the state of Oregon – sent an internal email to impacted workers this week informing them that they will be let go this coming Saturday for failing to be vaccinated in time, according to the aforementioned report.

“You failed to complete the verification process and our records show that you do not have an approved (exemption). As a result, you are not in compliance with the Policy and your employment is scheduled to be terminated on Saturday, January 15, 2022,” Nike’s Human Resources department said in an email sent to staff, according to Oregon Live.

Other retailers headquartered in Oregon, such as Columbia Sportswear, will also reportedly terminate the contracts of employees who have not been vaccinated in line with the company’s internal vaccine mandate.

Vaccine mandates are a controversial topic, and one that is continually questioned globally over its moral issue: should people be forced to get a vaccine they don’t wish to receive? In the alleged case of Nike, the message is being sent loud and clear, with the irony weighing in heavy: no vax, no play… Just Do It.

Adding fuel to the fire – and to the overall vaccine debate – is the fact that one of Nike’s lead brand ambassadors and one of its signature Basketball athletes, Kyrie Irving, is publicly outspoken when it comes to his refusal to get vaccinated. Irving was initially barred from team activities by his team the Brooklyn Nets, and is now only playing in away games.

How Nike will handle the situation of one of its most famous faces publicly holding out from getting vaccinated remains to be seen, but it does seem a tad hypocritical for a percentage of staff to be laid off but its face of the brand won’t budge. Hmm.

Stay tuned for more updates on this topic.