It’s almost bizarre how incredibly politicized and confused former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests have become – it has explicitly, over and over, beyond the point of redundancy been explained by all the individuals participating in the protests of kneeling during the National Anthem that the thing they’re protesting is racial injustice in the United States, primarily the systemic issue of members of law enforcement murdering people of color and facing no repercussions for their actions. And yet, the hyper right-wing take has continued to be “b-but they’re disrespecting the flag! And VETERANS!”
Despite the fact that the concept of kneeling was recommended by a military veteran to show respect. But, ya know, whatever.
Anyways, Nike made a fairly bold, nicely progressive move in launching a new “Just Do It” campaign with Colin Kaepernick at the center, supported by a theme of standing up to impossible forces and holding strong in your principles, no matter how much flak and criticism and consequences you may face. It’s pretty solid, if only in that “corporate-sponsored wokeness” way, at least (Nike – as a corporation – still has not actually answered for its many scandals regarding its use of sweatshops and, ya know, things that actually deserve being mad about).
Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt pic.twitter.com/SRWkMIDdaO
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Details on Kaepernick and #Nike:
– It’s wide endorsement. He’s going to have his own branded line. Shoes, shirts, jerseys, etc. There will be Kaepernick apparel.
– Contract is a “star” deal on par with a top end #NFL player. Millions per year. Star deals also include royalties.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 3, 2018
But again, Colin Kaepernick’s protests have become A LITTLE CONTROVERSIAL – primarily by people arguing in bad faith about what his protests ACTUALLY mean, while putting their hands over their ears and shouting “LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOUUUU!” whenever anyone tries to explain the thing he (and others) have explicitly said over and over. And these people are NOT happy that their favorite sports-adjacent brand is supporting a talented quarterback who doesn’t like seeing people of color get murdered by law enforcement, so they’ve decided to do what always happens in these times of corporations taking mild steps towards being on the right side of history….destroy their own property!
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4
— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions. pic.twitter.com/h8kj6RXe7j
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
.@Nike Due to your support of C.K. in your coming adds, I as an American can no longer support your company. #boycottNike #IStandForOurFlag pic.twitter.com/5JxSMD8SSO
— AlterAtYeshiva (@alteratyeshiva) September 4, 2018
Couple problems with this line of protest against a corporation:
1. You already bought the thing they were selling, so this mainly just screws you over
2. If you were trying to take some kind of moral stance, maybe just donate the clothing or shoes to a homeless shelter or something?
3. Pretty big win for Nike here, since they already got your money and now no longer have to worry about some weirdo dipshits serving as their brand ambassadors
What’s weirder is that this is all part of a larger trend of conservatives getting mad at a major corporation for some weird reason and then their response being to just straight up waste their own money as a form of protest. It largely breaks down into a few stages:
STAGE 1: Some conservatives or conservative-leaning group goes a bit too far, even for corporate America
STAGE 2: A major corporation makes some extremely minor change, either towards corporate wokeness or just distancing themselves from the conservative thing
STAGE 3: Extremely online conservatives FREAK THE HELL OUT and start destroying their own property (or giving more money to the corporation) in order to…prove some kind of point?
STAGE 4: The boycott fizzles immediately, everything blows over, and everyone forgets it ever happened
Does anyone remember when conservatives were literally destroying their (pretty expensive) Keurig machines when they thought Keurig was pulling advertising buys from Hannity (over Hannity’s vocal support and defense of former Alabama Seante candidate Roy Moore)?
Liberals are offended by this video of a Keurig being thrown off of a building.
Please retweet to offend a Liberal.#BoycottKeurigpic.twitter.com/0qbHlmyqcA
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 12, 2017
I pulled an “Office Space” with my Keurig… Would be a shame if everyone else joined me in the Keurig Smash Challenge #BoycottKeurig #IStandWithHannity #SundayMorning pic.twitter.com/yEADeRC006
— Angelo John Gage (@AngeloJohnGage) November 12, 2017
Or the time Yeti Coolers ended a discount partnership with the NRA (kinda), and people just straight up destroyed their Yeti products?
I really liked that thing, but I like my NRA and my rights more. @YETICoolers #yeticoolers #YetiBoycott pic.twitter.com/R3WeF44hPq
— Jen (@nintenjen) April 23, 2018
And who could forget the (multiple!) times conservatives thought that asking Starbucks employees to write certain names on cups would serve as a potent clapback, either to replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” or some other meaningless thing?
At least in this iteration, they weren’t just straight up destroying things they’d already paid for, but they were still handing money over to the corporation they supposedly had beef with, in order to earn some kind of ideological victory by making baristas write “Merry Christmas” on a cup (something which they could not give less of a shit about).
So, hey – if this is how you want to protest (by handing over a bunch of money to a corporation, and then ruining your own shit after the transaction has been completed), please WOULD ANYONE BE INTERESTED IN COLLEGEHUMOR’S NEW BOOK, “The Official Guide To Disrespecting The Flag”? Here’s a sample graphic:
Please send us $100 and we’ll send you a book that you can start on fire or toss into the toilet or whatever you want.