FACT CHECK: Did Foot Locker Donate $200 Million To Black Lives Matter?
A post shared on Facebook claims Foot Locker, Inc. donated $200 million to Black Lives Matter.
There is no evidence Foot Locker donated $200 million to Black Lives Matter. The company’s announcement of a $200 million pledge to help the black community through “economic development and education” does not mention the Black Lives Matter organization. The photo shows a Whole Foods store in Seattle.
The post making the claim about Foot Locker allegedly donating to Black Lives Matter also includes a photo of a storefront with smashed windows. In the picture, a banner hanging above the doors says, “Racism has no place here. We support the Black community.” The post suggests the damaged storefront is a Foot Locker store.
“Oh the irony ……… This is the Foot Locker store,” claims the post’s caption. “They donated 200 Million $$$ to BLM. Can you say ‘Karma’?” (RELATED: Was Daunte Wright’s Warrant For Aggravated Robbery?)
While Foot Locker did announce in June 2020 that it is committing $200 million “towards enhancing the lives of its team members and customers in the Black community through economic development and education” over five years, there is no indication the company donated $200 million to Black Lives Matter. The announcement about the initiative, Leading Education & Economic Development (LEED), and the webpage detailing its efforts do not mention the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
The LEED initiative includes a $250,000 investment over five years to add 50 more scholarships for black team members through the Foot Locker Associate Scholarship Program and a $750,000 commitment to “building the next generation of Black designers through the development of multiple design education programs, scholarship opportunities, and internships and apprenticeship programs,” according to the Foot Locker website. Among other measures, it also includes $150,000 in new funding to increase the number of scholarships to the United Negro College Fund for the 2020-2021 academic year and a $5 million investment commitment to MaC Venture Capital, a “Black-led VC firm that is dedicated to advancing businesses with diverse leaders.”
The announcement for the LEED initiative further pledges efforts such as purchasing “more products from Black-owned businesses,” investing in “relevant education programs for Black team members with our Black Employee Resource Group called B.U.I.L.D.,” and increasing “marketing spend with Black-owned companies, entrepreneurs, creators and collaborators.”
“Foot Locker, Inc. announced Leading Education & Economic Development (LEED) following the death of George Floyd. The $200 million commitment over five years aims to fight racial inequality and injustice and enhance the lives of the Black Community through investments in education and economic development,” a Foot Locker, Inc. spokesperson explained to Check Your Fact via email. “The commitment is to many communities and organizations, not to one nonprofit or group. It is a strategic shift across our business and investments that span venture capital, scholarship funds, and Black creators and businesses with the goal of driving meaningful change.”
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation also told Check Your Fact via email: “Foot Locker has not contributed any funds to BLM Global Network Foundation.” (RELATED: Did PepsiCo Give $100 Million To Black Lives Matter?)
The Star Tribune reported a Foot Locker and some other businesses in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, were destroyed during looting that took place amid protests sparked by the fatal April 11 police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. However, that Foot Locker store doesn’t appear in the Facebook post’s photo.
The picture actually shows a Seattle Whole Foods, which can be seen in a Google Maps street view, that was damaged during protests in July 2020. The Seattle-based KOMO News published a photo taken from a slightly different angle of the Whole Foods’ damaged storefront in a July 23, 2020 article.
Local Seattle news station KIRO 7 also reported about the Whole Foods and other nearby Seattle businesses being damaged during looting in July 2020.