Two Nike executives are allegedly bullying a former coworker who left to go to Adidas by calling him derogatory names like “douchebag” on social media.
Marc Dolce, formerly a designer for Nike, began working for rival Adidas this month.
He posted a photo to Instagram yesterday of an Adidas sneaker endorsed by Kobe Bryant with the caption “#MambaDay Thanks Kobe.”
In response, someone with the Instagram account @zappitello commented, “#douchebag.” That comment was immediately followed by a remark from the account @hamertime that said, “Always a follower, never lead #motherfaker.”
The @zappitello and @hamertime accounts allegedly belong to Brian Zappitello, vice president and general manager of Nike basketball, and Dirk-Jan van Hameren, vice president and general manager of global Nike sportswear, according to a report by the sneaker industry news site Nice Kicks.
Nike, Zappitello, and van Hameren did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nice Kicks publisher Matt Halfhill discovered the comments on Wednesday. At the time,the @zappitello and @hamertime accounts were public and they identified themselves as Nike employees.
“After we published the story, they both made their accounts private following a lot of backlash against them on their photos left by consumers,” Halfhill told Business Insider. “I checked with other people at Nike that I know and they confirmed their identities as well.”
Some of Dolce’s followers also appeared to know that Zappitello and Hameren were Nike executives. One user responded: “better delete these comments boys… great look for Nike executives lol.” Another wrote, “thanks for giving me another reason to stop buying Nike.”
Dolce is one of three designers who left Nike recently to work for Adidas. Nike filed a lawsuit against Dolce and the other designers last year seeking up to $10 million in damages and attempting to stop them from opening an Adidas-backed design center in Brooklyn.
All three employees reportedly had non-compete agreements preventing them from working for a competitor within a year of their employment with Nike.
Nike settled the lawsuit last year for an undisclosed amount.