Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is not known for many video recorded public appearances outside of Apple events, spoke at length regarding equality at an Auburn University event. At the event, Cook accepted Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences Lifetime Achievement award. AllThingsD first wrote about Cook’s appearance and notes Cook’s discussion of two of his inspirations: Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy:

“They sacrificed everything, including their lives, as champions of human rights and of human dignity,” Cook said. “Their images inspire me. They serve as a reminder to me every day that regardless of the path that one chooses, there are fundamental commitments that should be a part of one’s journey.”

Cook also quotes the late Nelson Mandela (who Apple is currently honoring on its homepage). Interestingly, Cook’s quote from Martin Luther King is the same one that he sent via video to Apple employees late in November. “The time is always right to do what’s right,” the quote reads. The video (above) of Cook is well worth a watch for the life lessons it provides. Cook also provides insight into Apple’s approach to making its technologies accessible for everyone.

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11 Responses to “Tim Cook voices his fight for equality at Auburn University Lifetime Achievement event [video]”

  1. rogifan says:

    So when is Tim Cook going to finally come out? Why is he hiding it?


    • Perhaps because he’s not what you think he is? Or perhaps because he rightfully sees his sexual preference as none of anyone’s business. Sexuality is a private matter, in case you forgot.


      • Tim Jr. says:

        To listen to some, we have no privacy.. privacy is a myth. Don’t underestimate a person or societies ability to contradict itself. :)


      • rogifan says:

        Then why do we need special laws for gays if sexuality is a private matter? If I don’t know you’re gay how can I discriminate against you?


    • I don’t think he ever will. It’d put the focus on him and not on what Apple always do: products.


    • dman238 says:

      What is your problem man?? I’ve seen you post this ridiculous question on another site… It’s none of your fuckin’ business.

      FIRST of all, WHO CARES if he is gay. Does that effect you in any way shape or form?? Of COURSE NOT.

      SECOND, just because he’s coming out in support of equal rights / non-discrimination FOR ALL PEOPLE regardless of your race, religion, and / or sexual-orientation DOES NOT mean that the guy is gay.

      THIRD, you got to be really dumb if you don’t see the reasoning in having a law that prevents discrimination. Just because someone’s sexual orientation is a private matter, doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a law to protect those who are open or who are exposed in this matter, due to a friend, co-worker, or worst of all, a boss. This law ultimately prevents discrimination of any form from taking place in the work place. When hiring someone, it should ALWAYS be about someone’s ability to do a job and do it well, NEVER about someone’s race/religion/sexual-orientation.

      I have to say, I find it almost laughable (sad really) that it the same breath of asking the ridiculous question about “when is Tim Cook going to finally come out?” you then state that “if sexuality is a private matter… how can I discriminate against you.” Do you realize your contradicting yourself there?? In one instance you are saying / pressuring a CEO of a Fortune 500 company to “out” his sexual orientation and then in the next instance, your saying oh we don’t need laws like this because if I don’t know what your sexuality is then I can’t discriminate against you. This is a classic example of WHY we need to pass a law like this. To prevent nosey, insensitive pricks from pressuring someone to open up about their sexuality and then facing discriminating based upon said sexual orientation.


      • Hhiiimmmmm says:

        Who cares? As a shareholder, I care. If a homosexual is at the helm of Apple it will cause a huge drop in sales and stock value. Thats just a fact. Humans are naturally bigots, you included. You may not openly admit, it but EVERYONE has prejudices.


      • rogifan says:

        I’m not contradicting myself. And I’d love some stats from Cook on how many public corporations out there are discriminating people on the basis of their sexual orientation. Especially when so many of them go out of their way to show how gay friendly they are. This is a total non issue.


  2. Great speech, but why does he then choose anti equality states like Texas and North Carolina to build the Mac and Data Centers in? If Apple chose the states they build in based on how well their Governments think like he does in this speech above, we might see real change happen in places like Texas and North Carolina.


    • Based on his comments in the video I would say it is because they protect their employees’ rights wherever they are and by being in those states they are effectively trying to make a change (your last thought inspired my comment).


  3. aidansh says:

    I’m a shareholder too.
    And I happen to be gay as well.
    First of all, IF Mr. Cook is gay or not shouldn’t be an issue.
    Now, I personally believe that IF he’s gay, and IF he decides to come out, would be amazing.
    Do you have any idea how hard it is to find real role models out there?
    It would send a powerful message to ALL that you CAN be gay and super successful.
    Specially to LGBTQ youth struggling to find identity and positive role models.
    There he’d be, theoretically, the CEO of one of the most valuable companies on the planet… a gay man.
    Now, having said that, it’s a harsh world… and it’s a harsh reality…
    IF Mr. Cook happens to be gay, and IF and WHEN he decides to come out, I have to agree with @Hhiiimmmmm…
    The stock would plummet. Many people would be “outraged”. I can almost imagine at least some of the Left Wing attacks, and the “Boycott Apple Products” campaigns.
    Perhaps some fundamental Christians protesting outside Apple Stores.
    The Westboro Baptist Church picketing outside the Apple Campus.
    IF he’s gay… Mr. Cook is between a rock and a hard place.