Colin Kaepernick was metaphorically taking a knee on Twitter yesterday. He wrote, referring to the killing of Qassem Soleimani,
Kaepernick’s words and conduct mark him as a narcissistic, ignorant, America-hating, race-baiting idiot. That’s what he is, other than a washed-up pro athlete whose erudition began and ended with a fake college degree (his major, amusingly, was business management) while he prepared to play pro football. His irresponsible kneeling stunt cost the NFL millions, launched multiple divisive offspring, denigrated the nation and its police, and accomplished nothing positive, in large part because it was incoherent.
Never mind: Nike, exhibiting the amoral and ethics-free motivations that have long characterized most corporations, pandered to the woke, hateful and dumb by making Kaepenick the face of its latest “Just do it!” campaign, a 30 year old slogan that was always stupid, even by corporate slogan standards. Admittedly, a stupid slogan is a good bet to appeal to the people who will pay ridiculous amounts of money for sneakers, but even so: Just do what? Just jump out a window? Just set your face on fire? Just sexually assault that attractive woman at work? Just shoot off your mouth about matters you are painfully ill-informed about?
The old maxim that if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail meets its apotheosis in this guy. What ever motivations one can detect in the killing of Qassem Soleimani, racism is not on the list. To be fair, Kaepernick’s definition of racism is the one that has crippled American blacks by giving them and their activists an excuse to avoid personal and cultural responsibility for, literally anything: Fail a course? Racist teacher. Go to jail? Racist legal system. Have kids out of wedlock that you can’t afford? It’s Whitey’s fault. Get fired? Racist boss. Didn’t get nominated for an Oscar? It’s because of color. Getting criticized for being a divisive, feckless, inept President? The critics are racists. People don’t think you’re an impressive candidate? Racism.
And so on.
Having been marinated in this mindset for his whole life, one can advance a little bit of sympathy to Colin: bias has not only made him stupid (and hateful, and anti-American, and useless to society),it has enabled him to make others stupid (and hateful, and anti-American, and useless to society) as well.
Nike has no such mitigating factors. Consider: Curt Schilling, a white ex-baseball star who is, roughly speaking, about 8.5 times smarter than Kaepernick even after hitting himself over the head with a cast iron pan (and Curt’s no Tesla), was promptly fired from his ESPN job for tweeting, “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.” The ‘Bloody sock” Boston hero’s tweet was reckless, to be sure, and he had been warned about making things difficult for his employer by tweeting politically controversial opinions. Yet Schilling’s opinion is a valid and defensible point of view; it’s just one that the Left is trying to ban from public discourse. Megyn Kelly was fired from NBC because she suggested that using dark make-up on Halloween is not the racist act progressives insist that it is. She said, “Truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween or a black person who put on whiteface for Halloween. When I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character… I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.” I’ve made a similar point on Ethics Alarms (I’m pretty sure that’s the issue that caused Facebook to ban the blog), and it is a valid and defensible opinion. Kelly was foolish to think the remark wouldn’t blow up in her face, especially since she was already on metaphorical thin ice at the Peacock network, but still: her comment, like Schilling’s, at least had substance underlying it. They were undiplomatic, and could marginally justify firing for cause, but they were not lies or hateful.
Kaepernick’s tweets, however, are, and he is currently much more Nike’s public face than Schilling was ESPN’s or Kelly was NBC’s. If Nike does not fire Kaepernick, then it has endorsed his vile and indefensible words. This is the shoe company that banned the Betsey Ross flag on its sneakers, yet it appears that the company approves of its hand-picked symbol elevating a murderous terrorist over the United States based on his own bigotry.
Thus Nike is intentionally (or negligently: I don’t care which) setting out to undermine the nation, divide it, and promote anti-American sentiments among the young. It must not profit from this unethical conduct, and the conduct must not go unpunished.
Nike’s Kaepernick shoe line sold out in December. Disgusting. Not only should Kaepernick be isolated and shunned; so should Nike, and so should anyone who wears Nike’s products, like, say, Janet Jackson, seen above further enhancing her family name.
My son rents an apartment from us, and I love him dearly, but if I saw him in Nike shoes, he would be given the choice of surrendering them, or moving out.
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