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Converse signs its first endorsement deal with a female basketball player

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Footwear and athletic gear maker Converse has signed its first female basketball player to a sponsorship deal.

The company announced Monday on Twitter that it is “proud and humbled” to welcome 28-year-old Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics “to the family.”

The announcement coincided with the publication of an essay Cloud wrote for The Players’ Tribune, a site dedicated to allowing professional athletes to write about topics they choose, on the recent death of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis police custody. Video of a white officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he was handcuffed and begging for his life sparked ongoing protests in cities across the country.

“You ask any white person in America if they would trade places and be black in America, if they say yes, they are lying to your face. If they say no, then they are consciously aware of the inequalities and the difference of life here in America. For that, you are dead wrong to stay silent,” she wrote in the piece.

The essay, Converse officials said, represented why the brand was interested in extending a deal to Cloud in the first place.

“Natasha Cloud’s recent piece is one of many examples of integrity, grace and strength she brings to the Converse team,” Ronald Johnson, general manager of global basketball at Converse, told The Washington Post. “We stand in solidarity with the black community, with our athletes, collaborators and our teammates, and we commit to act.”

Tags Converse deaths in police custody George Floyd protests Natasha Cloud police brutality WNBA

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