Nike’s Labor Day revelation that Colin Kaepernick is now “the face” of its “Just Do It” advertising campaign elicited immediate and scathing reaction from conservatives, some of whom trashed their Nike products and others who even set them on fire…on video, as reported by Fox News and others.
The advertisement bears the caption “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Conservative activists have fired back, posting the same caption over images of American soldiers. Among them is the image of the late Pat Tillman, who left professional football to join the military after the 9/11 attack, became an Army Ranger and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.
Timing, as the saying goes, seems to have been “everything” because Nike’s announcement came about the same time that it was also reported that billionaire Paul Allen, owner of the Seattle Seahawks – among whom are players who have taken a knee during the National Anthem – and the Portland Trailblazers, has donated $100,000 to Republicans to help that party retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
It’s an odd situation, since Allen has given more than ten times as much to the gun prohibition lobby in Washington State to finance gun control initiatives. Republicans are generally seen as more supportive of Second Amendment rights than Democrats, but they are also better for billionaires like Allen when it comes to taxes.
In the Evergreen State, Allen and other billionaires are bankrolling Initiative 1639, a measure to raise the age limit for buying any semi-auto rifle to 21, require proof of training, a ten-day waiting period, so-called “secure storage” and other mandates.
One exchange between readers of the Seattle P-I.com showed the divisiveness of Allen’s interjection of his wealth into the gun control debate, and perhaps how serious, and possibly silly, the extremes have become.
“That’s it,” wrote a reader identified as Cedar500, “I’m not going to any more Seahawks games. Screw Paul Allen and his cynical contribution to the deplorables.”
“HaHa,” responded a reader identified as Whatevah. “You loved it when he spent millions to take away constitutional liberties from lawful gun owners. Now you get your panties in a twist over some perception of issues you think you disagree with? HaHa. Makes me laff (sic). Triggered! Triggered over nothing but hurt feelings!”
Kaepernick became a lightning rod for politicizing the NFL, and might possibly be more of an influence on the game now than he was when he suited up. His appearance in the Nike advertisement has, as reported by Fox News, “sparked a firestorm on social media.”
A check on social media will find images of Nike products in trash cans, or burning, or cut up; anything to show consumer disdain for the company’s choice. On a larger scale, many people are boycotting the NFL and all of its advertisers.
According to CNBC, Nike’s shares took a tumble on the stock market following the announcement.
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