We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, September 5. 2018
I'm not commenting that Nike's Kaepernick ad will hurt them financially. So far, it has hurt them (in their stock price) but people are people and will buy things for a variety of reasons. Using Kaepernick as a 'theme' is, however, polarizing on many levels. For some people, the ad may spur sales. For many others, the ad will lead them to spurn the brand. If we look back at the Chick-fil-A and In 'n Out 'boycotts', we're resolved to recognize boycotts which are designed to exact retribution will often result in exactly nothing to harm a firm.
The difference with Nike was their ad is not a perceived slight. It's deliberately offensive. Nike raised the stakes in the marketing wars, and I don't think what they did will benefit them. This wasn't just a misguided statement or an ill-conceived donation. This was taking the Social Justice Warrior mentality and turning it into and ad. It's big question - can social justice be branded? Can the "revolution" of Progressive Thought be promoted in an ad campaign. I'd say no, and the fruits of this campaign may have people talking about Nike...but Nike doesn't need people to be talking about them in this fashion.
Let's start from the beginning. Kaepernick and other players have the right to kneel during the anthem. We all do. Excoriating them for this is silly, uninformed, and ignores the right to free speech. So set that aside. Let's discuss the real problem, which is the outcome of that decision to kneel, because that's where Nike messed up. They took a relatively benign issue, and amped it up on steroids.
The NFL has a Game Day Operations Policy it chose to not implement, which stipulates players which do not stand for the anthem MAY be fined. Not enforcing this has hurt the NFL's image and proved it to be a business at the mercy of its employees' political views. Try breaking YOUR employers' policies and see what happens. Good luck with that. But, hey - it's the NFL, and these guys are "STARS". So yeah, I guess if you have no backbone, you can ignore your own policies and assume everything will turn out fine.
I guess that worked out well, because in the midst of all the other good work the NFL had done with domestic violence and brain trauma, they enhanced their image enough to see ratings for football games plummet.
Basically, the NFL punted on the issue, and it's hurting them. Which is a problem, since the cause which the players are kneeling for is opposition to police violence, specifically against persons of color. That's a laudable cause and even when the NFL did something, it wasn't really noticed.
I don't fault the players for being concerned with an issue like this. Police violence is a very real problem. It doesn't mean police are a problem. It means some police are, and sometimes they go too far. DWB - Driving While Black - is a serious issue, and one which needs to be addressed. We can opine all day long about racial profiling, whether we're for or against it, but the reality is that black people are stopped, and can be victims of violence by the police, far more frequently on a percentage basis than white people and often for no good reason. This is simply a fact, and accepting it proves a complaint here isn't based on an issue of race.
The real issue the NFL and Nike have, from my perspective, can't be race and it's not kneeling for the national anthem. It's a deliberately divisive attitude and not paying attention to your audience. Michael Jordan famously stated "Republicans buy sneakers, too," after being prompted (and declining) to make a political statement. In any business, when you take a political stance, or somehow endorse one, you take a massive risk. You risk alienating potential consumers. Most businesses funnel money to both parties. Very few (and these are often pointed out by both sides in a political battle) only contribute to one party. From my POV, the BEST answer is don't give money to any party (it allows you to reduce costs to the consumer and you don't have to answer uncomfortable questions except "why don't you give money to XYZ?" and the proper answer is "I have consumers who support AND oppose XYZ.").
Kneeling has diverted attention from a worthy cause, one that definitely deserves a conversation, to the players themselves and to another cause - disrespect for a nation that allows its citizens the right to protest. Kaepernick's (and others') point of view is that they can't show respect for a nation that treats their people a certain way. Which way would that be, though? Giving them a voice, the ability to raise an issue and have a conversation about what concerns them? They justifiably complain about treatment on the basis of race, but hide behind a tool unavailable in many other nations (free speech) when the method (not the nature) of their complaint is questioned.
This is where the disconnect begins. As I pointed out to someone who called me 'racist' "Does it make me racist to tell you that I agree with what you're saying but disagree with you shouting it in people's faces to the point of annoyance?" It is possible to understand the complaint and disagree with the method used to make the complaint.
It is at this point Nike made a critical error. Because Kaepernick himself was not the issue. Until he made himself the issue. Not just by kneeling. That was small potatoes. Suddenly, he became a self-styled "activist", appearing at a press conference wearing a T-shirt with Malcolm X and Castro and completely misrepresenting the entire concept of the shirt's significance, and supporting Castro. Then he donated money to group supporting the cop-killer Joanne Chesimard, who escaped jail and fled to Cuba. Chesimard, now known as Assata Shakur, was also the recipient of a birthday greeting tweet from Kaepernick. Quotes of hers are sometimes featured in his tweets. His ties to communism are not light. The West Point grad who was released for holding a "Communism will win" sign at graduation was also supporting Kaepernick.
Assuming that Kaepernick has "sacrificed everything" as Nike assumes in its ad, is absurd in the extreme. Kaepernick is a multi-millionaire not just from playing football, but from his Nike contract. Kaepernick has risked very little and sacrificed even less, to be the face of an ad campaign which purports to turn him into some sacrificial lamb. He is a martyr/hero to Nike. But what has he lost? What has he risked?
He was a mediocre quarterback at the point he opted out of his contract. His salary was outsized compared to his performance. He compounded that issue by developing an attitude, which he has now taken to court to complain about "collusion". He is no hero. He is a lightning rod. There is a huge difference.
Nike failed to recognize this difference. A hero, who played football and sacrificed everything, was Pat Tillman. A hero who sacrificed everything was a fireman or a cop at the World Trade Center on 9/11. A hero who sacrificed everything for a cause was Martin Luther King, Jr. Kaepernick GETS RICH to 'sacrifice everything' and the poorly-informed and poorly educated supporters of his will call you a racist if you don't agree. It's not that we don't support his cause - many of us can and do support the CAUSE - it's that we don't support his METHOD.
Nike has paid a non-hero, branded him a 'hero' for their brand, paid him huge sums of money to 'sacrifice everything' and created a massively ironic advertisement campaign. They have alienated at least half of their consumer base. Some people may forget that in a week or two. Many will not. I know I will no longer purchase Nike gear. That should concern Nike. Not that they've lost my money. But that in seeking to turn their version of 'social justice' into an advertising campaign, they've undermined their own cause and created an issue of division. Advertising should draw people to your product - not drive them away.
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:08 | Comments (38) | Trackbacks (0)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
You might want to look at Heather Mac Donald's study on racial profiling: https://www.city-journal.org/html/myth-racial-profiling-12022.html. I haven't seem any more recent studies showing that profiling has made a major increase.
It's hard to support a cause that overstates its case so much.
After reading that I didn't really see an overstatement. Just a justification for.
I live in a neighborhood that is probably 90% white. I can, without any feeling of overstatement, say that when I see a cop with someone pulled over, it's invariably going to be a black person behind the wheel. It's so bad, when we're driving along the roads, and I see someone pulled over I immediately ask the person next to me: "DWB?" and usually get a "yes" in response.
Let's just be clear. I happen to think a degree of racial profiling makes sense. The linked article makes a case for it, too. It's all in the execution.
When I was leaving Israel, after a business trip, I was stopped and interviewed for a very long time. It turns out I was profiled. Without going into the details, some events while I was in Israel had raised a few flags relative to my ticket. I was annoyed as hell about the delays and interviews. But in the end, as my annoyance began to show, the interviewer asked "you understand this is for your protection, don't you?" Of course I did. But it's a pain in the ass, and if you've had to go through it just once, then you can understand why people of color have a problem with it when they go through it more than once.
There's a flip side to this, too. My entire family, young kids in tow, were once pulled aside for a full patdown prior to a domestic flight. My wife and I underwent a heavy interrogation. Next to us was an elderly couple. The man was a former president of the airline we were traveling (I recognized him, as I traveled quite a bit then for business). I shared my concerns about the interrogation, as the couple in front of us in line were literally dirty hippies. Why pull the clean all-American family aside, and why pull the elderly couple (and former airline president) aside?
He shrugged and said "we don't know how to do it right in America. There are good answers, but we tend to choose the worst ones which seem to be the easiest to implement."
I pretty much agree with him.
I guess I'm just silly and uninformed then, and am totally wrong in my understanding that the U.S. Constitution only prohibits the government from restricting free speech. Any employer I've ever worked for would have fired me in an instant if I had pulled a stunt like Kaepernick did. Sorry, but I'm not about to "set aside" anyone disrespecting America, the most moral Country that has ever existed. I won't watch the NFL or knowingly buy products from any of its sponsors.
Actually I stated that in the post.
"Try breaking YOUR employers' policies and see what happens."
But that is entirely different from having the RIGHT to try and break it - which is what many people WERE arguing. I can't tell you how many people I know said they should be stopped purely on patriotic grounds and supported some kind of governmental intervention to stop it.
I didn't tell anyone to set aside the fact what they did was disrespect the nation which gives them a right to show that disrespect. In fact, I also called that out in the post.
What I said to set aside, what is silly and uninformed, is the concept that somehow, someway, they aren't or SHOULDN'T (by law) be allowed to do what they did. And yes - many people believe that.
It is important to understand that BLM and the taking a knee was never about fairness or justice for black people being hurt or killed by police. It is and always has been about anti-Americanism and hate. Hate of the whites, hate of authority and hate of a system that rewards hard work and intelligence. What they want is socialism first then power then dominance. This (the BLM and other similar groups) are just the same as all of the leftist rent-a mob groups who are fighting for a system where they can take what is yours and then take you down.
I don't know what NIKE is thinking in this move. About the best motive I can assign to them is that many of their customers are black so maybe it will increase sales. It may also be that they see the writing on the wall; expect Trump to be impeached, see who is being pushed within the Democrat party and are maneuvering to be on the right side when the dust settles. One commentator argued that Nike has very good and rewarding contracts making their product in Asia and Trump's efforts to even out the playing field is gonna hurt them so this is an anti-Trump move. No matter, what they have done is gone to bed with an anti-American anti-white movement and they deserve to be put out of business. Won't happen probably but that doesn't change my wish for them.
Sorry Bulldog, I stopped reading after the third paragraph.
In what way is it wrong or “uninformed” to “excoriate” someone whose opinions I have contempt for, but whose right to such opinions I happily acknowledge?
It's silly and uninformed to think they aren't allowed to do it. Which, as I stated above, is perfectly LEGAL. So it IS silly and uninformed to say something like "they shouldn't be allowed to do that." Well, I don't like it any more than you do. But I'm not getting up in arms over that part of it because it's ridiculous. Lots of people do disrespectful things every day and we go about our lives. Get over it.
As I pointed out, it's not WHAT they are saying which is necessarily a problem (though for some it may be, and you might be one of them). I do firmly believe their reasons for wanting to have a dialogue on the issue is important. I happen to disagree with their method.
It seems to me that too many people want to take issue with this for the very reasons that make it seem like this is a racial issue. They're just pissed off that the players have something to say.
Guess what? There's nothing wrong with that. Players have always had something stupid to say. They've often gotten in trouble for having something worthwhile to say and people just don't want to hear it (Curt Flood).
In this case, the problem isn't kneeling. It's not even the cause they support.
The problem is that they are deliberately doing something which people have pointed out to them only draws attention away from the cause, and which is designed to keep the spotlight on them rather than the cause.
Everything else is ridiculous.
- Kneeling is the problem. It is an intentional and explicit refusal to respect the flag and the anthem.
-when people say "they shouldn't be allowed.. " don't you think most mean the league should enforce its rules rather than that the kneelers should be thrown in jail?
That being said, the way many fans behave during the anthem at ball games makes me wish it wasn't played at all.
Kaepernick is a first-class jackass and an half-ass quarterback. Who really gives a crap what he thinks (if he can) and says. Give him a pacifier with his check and let him suck on that and whine in the corner about all the injustice in the world. Mom and dad used to say "the world ain't fair." Get over yourself, pig.
There's nothing wrong with excoriating the players who kneel. They have the right to kneel. You all have the right to excoriate them for it. Freedom of expression. All around.
Again, as I explained in a previous comment, your answer is what I was pointing out. They have the right to kneel. Excoriating them for having that right is a problem. Excoriating them for choosing to exercise it when you disagree with them doing it is a different issue.
Too many people HAVE wanted to pass a law, regulation or some other such item to stop them from kneeling. Too many people have excoriated them based on that reasoning.
It's a misunderstanding of the situation on both sides.
I happen to agree with you, and I think I made that point, but people tend to focus on a few words they disagree with and ignore the rest.
DWB - Driving While Black - is a serious issue, and one which needs to be addressed. We can opine all day long about racial profiling, whether we're for or against it, but the reality is that black people are stopped, and can be victims of violence by the police, far more frequently on a percentage basis than white people and often for no good reason.
Blah, blah, blah.
Factual and logical fail.
".....at the time of his release."
What seems to be lost in this discussion is that Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers
"Kaepernick is planning to opt out of the final season of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter."
From the 1Mar17 (online) issue of ESPN.
Kaepernick chose to leave the NFL and is now complaining that no team picked him up in free-agency.
Live with the choices you make.
All that being said: Kaepernick is an ass.
Thanks, that's a fair point, so I fixed it.
they'd have cut him if he hadn't opted out.
I see far too much of this assumption -
"This is simply a fact ..."
- in this piece.
It takes far more than such a bland statement to establish an assumption, preconception or bigotry as a fact.
Interesting. I did a search on that word in the piece.
It appears once. I think you made an assumption about its use. The one time I used it - it happens to apply.
You can argue, as Elizabeth Hunter did above, that there are reasons which support why that fact occurs. But it doesn't change the fact.
I tried to submit a comment and was unreasonably blocked . If you really don't want comments . . . don't ask for them. Very disappointed in MAGGIES FARM!
The issue is not free speech. The issue is that the Left and their thugs have infiltrated every aspect of our society . . . ruined every aspect of our entertainment industry, sports industry and educational system. They don't believe in free speech as evidenced by what is going on in our colleges and universities. They will end free speech. The players in the NFL are pawns of an intolerant left . . . the people running the NFL are nothing but gutless panderers concerned with keeping their wallets fat. What a disgrace. To think of all the Patriots . . . whose blood was spilled in foreign lands to keep this country from suffering the horrors associated with Communism, Fascism , Totalitarianism and "Socialism" (which is just "Communism light"). It makes me sick to my stomach o watch what is happening in this country. This is not about free speech. It's about Leftist thuggery and intimidation. It's about heading toward a future which is very bleak.
Well, I can't boycott the NFL, because I almost never watched them in the past. I can't boycott Nike because I haven't bought their products either. That leaves me with no alternative except to post inane comments on the Internet.
Sure makes it easier to buy those New Balance walking shoes this week. I am willing to pay extra for the Made in USA version. Never bought Nike for all the endorsement money going to celebrity instead of the shoe. Even easier now.
I would urge Reeboks as an alternative, endorsed by the hottest grandpa in China:
Different values than Kaepernick and Nike.
Meanwhile, Nike representatives have revealed that they are introducing a new line of shoes to be endorsed by Colin Kaepernik just in time for the NFL season.
They're house shoes to be worn while watching the games.
"Just Do It"
Well, truth be told the players taking a knee during the anthem, nor this stupid ad will cause me to boycott either the NFL or Nike as I already don't consider either business to be worth giving MY hard-earned money to.
In other words, I cannot boycott that which I don't already buy.
Didn't business used to understand that playing politics publicly was apt to be damaging to the business, and avoided it. What happened? It would seem to be the most basic idea of capitalism to listen to the marketplace.
Police violence may be a big issue but it's a bigger issue to whites than blacks. The Washington Post collects as much data as possible on police killings. The last full year of data is 2015 when a total of 990 people were killed by police. The first thing to note is that 96% of those killed were men. Does that make police sexist male haters or does it reflect the reality that men commit the most crime and therefore have the most interaction with police? By the same token young black men, 3% of our population, commit over 50% of the murders in America. Should we be surprised that the police kill some young black men? If cops aren’t sexist for killing so many men how can they be racist for killing young black men? Young black men, 3% of our population, commit almost 55% of the murders in America. According to the Post's data police killed 26 unarmed black men that year and 45 whites. I'm not sure I see the crisis that the NFL players are protesting. Their time might be better spent trying to do something about the 5,000 blacks murdered every year by other blacks.
Or the thousands upon thousands of black children killed in abortion clinics.
I'm just appalled that Kaepernick played for UNR's Wolfpack, and is likely the university's most (in)famous alumni.
DWB - Driving While Black - is a serious issue, and one which needs to be addressed.
The Racial Profiling Myth Debunked.
According to the study commissioned by the New Jersey attorney general and leaked first to the New York Times and then to the Web, blacks make up 16 percent of the drivers on the turnpike, and 25 percent of the speeders in the 65-mile-per-hour zones, where profiling complaints are most common. (The study counted only those going more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit as speeders.) Black drivers speed twice as much as white drivers, and speed at reckless levels even more. Blacks are actually stopped less than their speeding behavior would predict—they are 23 percent of those stopped.
The libs and progs and pOC have kind of ruined their favorite epithets. I no more believe them when they call others racist than I believe that Trump is the devil. I hear somebody called a racist bigot homophobe sexist pig and I yawn and wonder what perfectly acceptable norm they didn't violate by failing to bend to slander and lies.
I've lived all over the US and in places such as Detroit, Cleveland, and Oakland and to be honest the only overt racists I ever saw were blacks and hispanics. Srsly, La Raza? Black Power? BLM only or we'll sic antifa on you?
Somewhat off topic, but can anyone explain to me why the action of kneeling was chosen . To me, kneeling is an act of obeisance and submission. I hope the day would never come that I would kneel before a secular object.
Always lots of anecdotes on the cops (or whatever we want to demonize), but not sure the numbers bear out that it's some massive problem.
And I think that's the disconnect here.
Sure, be against bad "cops"... or politicians, or members of the military. But don't act like the primary reason for violence and poverty is anything other than personal choices, the lack of high standards and the breakdown of the family. Pointing at the cops or institutional racism is nothing more than finding a way to avoid confronting the true root of the issue.
Force all cops to wear body cams, eliminate them entirely if you prefer -- it will have zero positive effect on these purportedly marginalized communities.
I'm waiting to see Kaepernick ACTUALLY 'risk everything' and publicly call out the sweatshop conditions of sneaker factories.
Probably a long wait.
From the Zman a few years ago when this nonsense first hit.
Kaepernick was born to a destitute white mother in Milwaukee, who put him up for adoption. His father was a deadbeat from the neighborhood. In other words, he was born into the typical black environment, but unlike most black children, he was saved by a nice white couple who adopted him and raised him as their son. This got him into good schools, sports and a middle-class lifestyle. Later, nice white coaches helped him with his sports career, first at college and then in the NFL. Jim Harbaugh made Kaepernick a legitimate NFL player.
Kaepernick has decided to respond to this amazing run of good fortune, almost exclusively the result of generous white Americans, by giving his middle finger to his fellow Americans. Specifically, he is flipping the bird to white people so he can pretend to make common cause with the black people from whom he was saved as a baby. You would think that someone living this wonderful life would be grateful to the country and the people who make it possible, but that’s not how things work in a grievance culture.
The thing that kills me about guys like this is he is living a charmed life. A black guy in the ghetto complaining about America can be forgiven. A honky in the trailer park bitching about the minorities or foreigners is understandable. They are mostly wrong, but their condition warrants some sympathy. This guy is one of the luckiest men on earth.
Black people have some legitimate complaints, but they need to be directed at their fellow blacks. Whites in America have been incredibly generous and accommodating to blacks over the last half century. It has not been perfect, it never is, but there’s nowhere on earth you would rather be black than in America. There’s a reason the Back To Africa Movement has no members. I don’t want to hear any more complaining. I want a thank you.
Free speech does not equate to smart speech...
This is "totemism"....
A clan supporting NIKE...
And a clan supporting the national anthem/flag...
which group is larger...(someone needs to ask the NIKE AD folks)...
Which one has more resources and the resolve to follow thru...
I mean really, is a sneaker or batting glove more important _sacred-... that the US Flag / National Anthem???