The recent decision by Nike to choose Colin Kaepernick as a representative of the company raises a few interesting or curious issues.
First – I am struck by how vacuous the slogan is: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Believe in something, seriously? They could just as easily have said believe in anything. Fidel Castro believed in something (one of Kaepernick’s apparent heroes). The leaders of the Confederacy believed in something, etc. This is reminiscent of the Obama campaign in 2008, when young people were voting for “Change”. What kind of change, exactly? Change, dude, like Change!
Second – believing doesn’t require sacrifice, but acting on those beliefs might. There were people who thought the KKK was evil but kept quiet out of fear – belief didn’t require sacrifice.
Third – it isn’t clear whether Kaepernick has sacrificed anything. There are some who believe he’d be on an NFL roster today if he hadn’t started these protests. But there are plenty of others who don’t think so, his play had been very poor prior to this mess. Nike is now reportedly paying him millions and who knows what other avenues to cash in he will find, Al Sharpton is getting on in years.
A truly bitter irony – if Nike was looking for an example of an athlete who sacrificed everything Pat Tillman would seem a perfect choice. He was an NFL player and after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 he joined the U.S. military to fight the terrorists. He was killed in combat. Further, he was not a huge star and even if he had survived by the time he returned to civilian life his shot at an NFL career may have been gone.
There is some debate about whether this will be a good move financially for Nike. Sadly, I think that is hard to predict. I believe (not sure how much I just sacrificed for that) that they may benefit in the short run as the SJW types laud them for courage and wokeness. However, in time that benefit will fade and other companies may find ways to steal some of the SJW limelight with a transgender spokesperson or something else. However, those of us who are offended will remember for a very long time.