Senator Mitch McConnell probably didn't intend to inspire a viral rallying cry for women everywhere when he silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren as she opposed the confirmation of attorney general Jeff Sessions by reading a letter by Coretta Scott King, and admonished Warrren for pushing back with: "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted." You bet she persisted, said,well, everyone on Twitter. Senator Warren inspired voters as well as brands to step up when their values get threatened. That's what fellow Massachusetts-based company Reebok is doing by adopting a phrase now forever associated with the politician.
Reebok has introduced a new training shirt with the phrase, "Nevertheless, She Persisted." The full cost of the top — $20 — will be donated to the Women's March. "Deep down inside of us there's a powerful form of hope that can't be crushed by any setback," the product description reads. "We see a better day ahead and we will continue to take a stand and fight alongside those who deserve to be heard."
As a brand, Reebok has mostly kept itself out of political conversations, even as other sportswear brands (or at least, their executives) have shown where they stand with the new administration. The only time it gave us a glimpse of anything close to a political inclination was when it began suggesting its own footwear to people pledging to throw away their New Balance sneakers on social media, following some seemingly pro-Donald Trump comments from a V.P. at New Balance.
The decision to align the brand with Senator Warren was an easy one, according to Inga Stenta, senior director of brand communications at Reebok. "[She] represents our state of Massachusetts," Stenta told Refinery29. "We believe in her message and that no one should be silenced." For Reebox, this move is less about politics and more about action: "We're empowered by all women who continue to persist and break down barriers," Stenta said. The phrase "nevertheless, she persisted" inspired the Reebok team because it was both simple and incredibly powerful. "It's a unifying message that can represent the ambitions of every woman, whether it be on the floor of the Senate, in their office, their school or in their gym," she explained. "It’s about breaking down walls with passion and confidence and as a brand we’re eager to support."
On its website, Reebok notes that the night Senator Warren was reprimanded by some of her colleagues, a new mission statement "for women who refused to be silenced" was coined. It felt all too close to home for a brand whose hallmark campaigns are titled #PerfectNever, which is about supporting women and their ambitions without being constrained by a notion of "perfection," and Be More Human. "We're not political observers but we're ready to take action when we see an opportunity to empower people action physically, mentally and socially," explained Stenta.
Meanwhile, Senator Warren doesn't seem to bothered by everything that went down on Tuesday night — if anything, she feels reinvigorated. "What it's done is it's helped us have a better Democratic conversation," she told Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. "We don't have the votes in the United States Senate to block somebody like Jeff Sessions. So what we've got to do is count on people all around this country to make their voices heard." Plus, it's the second time this year Senator Warren inspired our wardrobe choices.