I don’t have a problem with Colin Kaepernick being ignorant. I have a problem with the management of publicly traded corporation being ignorant.
Or maybe they (the management) are not…
Who is Colin Kaepernick?
Former quarterback turned social-justice-warrior whose business model is to look for reasons to be offended and then blow them out of proportion. He uses created energy to inflate his ego, his wallet, and the number of likes on his Facebook page.
Who was Betsy Ross?
Upholsterer in Philadelphia the creator of the first flag of the United States of America ( Congress officially issued this flag on June 14, 1777 ), the one which Kaepernick views as an offensive symbol of slavery.
What is Nike?
Google it. 🙂
So, what is the problem?
A few days ago, the Betsy Ross flag was the symbol of patriotism and defiance against a distant monarchy. The symbol that Nike has proudly used in its new, patriotic line of shoes: the special-edition USA-themed Air Max 1.
Today, according to Mr. Kaepernick and Nike management who decided to support him in attacking First official US flag, it symbolizes:
A) Slavery – because of its connection to an era of slavery,
B) White supremacy – because it was appropriated by some white nationalist groups.
So, because that flag design was created and used during the era of slavery, it somehow symbolizes support of slavery and should never see the light of the day ever again? How about other things created and used during that time, should we remove them all from our lives?
How about art? People who were slaves contributed hugely to this field. Should we destroy all the works of David Drake because someone feels offended that his pots sell today for tens of thousands of dollars, and Mr. Drake, an enslaved potter, wasn’t adequately compensated for his work? Should we forget music or poetry of that era because of the possibility that someone will feel offended by it?
Maybe we should go all the way with this insanity and delegitimize outcome of the Civil War because it was fought during the era of slavery.
I don’t follow the logic behind an attack on an innocent symbol, a flag, because a handful of hate groups decided to use it as a representation of their “brand.” A flag can not control who and how uses it.
Not long ago, I had a pleasure of seeing a couple of extremely good looking ladies at the beach wearing ultra tiny bikinis made out of the British flag. Should we recognize the British flag as a symbol of the sexualization of women? I don’t think so.
Should Nike be held responsible for the actions of crazy people who use Nike products? Of course not. The neo-Nazis buying Nike snickers don’t make Nike a champion of white supremacy movement.
What really is it about?
It’s all about busine$$ and attention.
Colin Kaepernick had a good start in NFL but for some reason couldn’t keep it going (I’m no football expert, so instead of explaining what I mean, I’ll give you a couple of links: First and Second). When he realized that his pro-football career was going nowhere fast, he decided to do something to keep himself inside the money-making circuit. The easiest way to achieve that goal was to become controversial.
He started with kneeling for the National Anthem, and now…
Mr. Kaepernick doesn’t give a rat’s rear end that as a consequence of his actions, the Betsy Ross Flag, a symbol of unity and (as some say) of giving the middle finger to the oppressors – the monarchy, is being turned into a symbol of oppression – the slavery. He needed controversy, so he had created one.
No one viewed the Betsy Ross Flag as offensive, (it was prominently featured during Obama’s second swearing-in ceremony,) till Colin Kaepernick, after a highly detailed and grueling investigation, uncovered the long kept secret. Something no one knew. … The Betsy Ross Flag represented The United States of America, as early as in 1777, and that, according to Kaepernick, renders the flag unacceptable because of the “connection to an era of slavery.”
Nike’s stock is going up
Now, let’s talk about another component of this latest controversy – NIKE, a very successful sports apparel company. Nike is doing great, especially in China, which is Nike’s best performing geographical market, with still enormous untapped potential for expansion. That untapped potential is in the center of Nike’s attention. They want it all, but to be successful, they need to make Nike the most popular brand among people in charge of China’s economy. Bashing the US of A is the easiest and the most cost-effective way to achieve that goal.
This is where social-justice-warrior Colin Kaepernick comes in.
Because members of Nike’s management don’t want to do bashing by themselves, they hired Mr.Kaepernick to perform all the dirty work for them, so in case Nike’s marketing plan backfires,
- they will drop all the blame on the spokesman,
- they will fire him,
- they will issue an apology ( adding something like: he used us to promote his private agenda ),
- they will hire new, this time patriotic spokesman or better yet spokeswoman,
and everything will go back to business as usual. Nike’s stock will go up and Mr. Kaepernick, though he will look like an idiot, will still end up with some serious cash in his pocket.
So, what’s wrong with the Betsy Ross Flag?
Absolutely nothing. The Betsy Ross Flag got caught in the middle of this fiasco probably by accident. It could be something else, a profile of historical figure or a short quote like “In God We Trust.”
The flag isn’t racist, Betsy Ross wasn’t racist, there’s nothing offensive about the flag or its designer. The only wrong I see here is a bunch of people creating controversy around the national symbol to make money off of it.
That is sad. That’s sad because it looks like that major US corporation successfully managed to do what bunch of different hate groups were unable to do: it turned the Betsy Ross flag into a racist symbol. Congratulation NIKE, keep on the excellent work.
Thank You For Reading