Well its another spotlight over some company’s questionable political stand, masqueraded in lieu of conspicuous marketing. I mean, did anyone ever expect that every manufacturer does things ethically, professionally and without bias? Nike is no exception. But before we all burn our sports bras and use their running shoes to clean cow pastures, lets make things easier. We’ve all seen this before, got angry and exercised our free speech ad nauseam. But why? Why get worked up and bothered? Let’s clarify some things to make life easier.
We’ve done this with Team Wendy’s response to a political endorsement, Jimmy Johns’ guy who hunts everything because he can, Pepsi, Heineken, and probably many other brands which I do not recall nor care to remember. All I know, is that at some point I stopped being a consumer for one or the other, and maybe spoke with someone about their decision to do the same. The thing is, after all the nonsense is said and done, the tirades, social media comments and debates really only do one thing. They help promote the brand which is now hated, albeit for valid reasons. And at some point we forget why we got here in the first place.
Does Kaepernick himself even remember what his stand was, or is?… Was it that the Anthem spoke of slavery? Or wait, our flag stands for oppression? Or is it that the glorified actor did what he thought he’s paid to do – act. The kind of nonsense no one with this argument could logically prove, at least not to a rational whiskey slinging patriot nor probably to a man-bun vaping professor. Deep down we know this is bullshit. If there was a hint of actual message in there, at least we can agree that the platform to deliver it was more jacked up than a one ton truck at a country music festival. But there is also a distinct difference in boycotting a company over a message some marketing department college grad came up with, and the action of a said venue.
Years ago, if I recall correctly, Ben and Jerry’s ran a fund to support a convicted cop-killer. That’s an action versus a statement, and I haven’t had a lick of their whatever they sell since. Come to think of it, not sure if I had one prior. But the response by those who know and do right, at least a more productive one, is to stop doing business with the company and share the info. And the bottom line about their motivation or their use of celebrities, is who cares? Why stress over other fabricated nonsense? I wholeheartedly agree with Tom Amenta, that as well-intentioned the counter-memes may be, using photos and attributing quotes of our fallen heroes does more damage.
On some level, I doubt that the top CEO of Nike knows what’s going on, or truly cares. Yet, the counter points are all valid. Clothing and shoes made in sweat shops, in factories based in China is wrong. But was it wrong before the company’s statement, and if so, why did no one make a meme about that? If it was and you acted on your belief that its wrong by not-buying the product, you did your part. The rest isn’t worth your time, or mine. Is it?
I ask you this. Stop sharing the garbage if you know its nonsense, stop giving undue attention to poor advertising strategies, other people’s political views, and opinions if you know they ruin the fabric of our society. Stand for the Anthem, salute the Colors, teach your kids the same, teach them why, respect our fallen, lobby for better pay for cops, improved education system, volunteer, vote, support small US and veteran-owned business. And stop upsetting Al Gore by burning the swoosh-branded clothing. Just use some tape to cover it up, and enjoy what you have earned.
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