After an excruciatingly long week of “Funeralathon”, who would have figured thatthe new week kicks off with the announcement concerning the teaming up of NIKE, Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Former CIA Director John Brennan and “The Original Kneeler” Colon Kaepernick to tell the U.S. Citizen to just shut up and Go To Hell. Like I said, you just can’t make this stuff up.
I know that this may get me branded as a racist, but for almost two years now we’ve been watching Colon Kaepernick run a hustle on all of us because he chose to cover up his dying NFL career by creating a bigger controversy, at the expense of the American institution that gave him the original platform, the NFL. With all of the great things happening in the United States today, is this how a corporation like NIKE chooses to exclude themselves from being part of this success going forward? Don’t you have to wonder about the thought process behind this decision at the corporate level? This is the thing that just blows my mind.
In our quasi market-based economic model, the expectation is that those in decision-making positions, particularly in public, major corporations, will make decisions in the best interests of the shareholders of their corporation. Can anybody see any way that the decision to make Colon Kaepernick the face of a previously iconic corporation would be in the best interests of the shareholders? Isn’t this the foundational question that needs to be answered? I realize that there is an old adage in the world of politics that “any publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell my name right”. But I’m just not sure that this same standard is correct in the world of commerce.
I guess what concerns me more is how we have even gotten here. I know that in many ways I am just a relic of times past in this Country. I am now 62 years old and remember when it was expected, and proper, that even in a public school classroom, EVERY student stood and recited The Lord’s Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. I can remember when a teacher was in charge of their classroom and maintained order just because there was the “threat” of being subject to corporal punishment. I grew up in classrooms where the proper response to any teacher was “Yes Ma’am” or “No Ma’am” or “Yes, Sir” or “No Sir”. I’m concerned how my generation has allowed this loss of civility to happen.
Just in my lifetime there have been certain “landmark” events that have been catalytic to this erosion of morality and common civility. And I believe the coarsening of our Society. The first and foremost, and I believe most egregious, was when I was a child when it was determined that prayer was illegal in the public school classroom. For 170+ years of the Constitutional Republic, this was never a problem. In fact, some of the most memorable moments in our Country’s history are times when the President led our Nation through prayer. And these were Presidents from both sides of the aisle.
The bigger point is that this was the crowning move to remove “community standards” from our public schools and establish that the decisions in our local classrooms must “pass muster” from the wizards of smart in Washington, D.C. and the national government. From this point forward, the tyranny of centralism has been steadily eroding our Society. A major reason why the United States, in less than 200 years, became the preeminent society in the World was because we believed that the Rule of Law and local control were the foundational controlling factors of our civil society. But I digress.
Then we see what is happening today and we just are forced to shake our collective heads in wondering how we got here? We now see a major, many would even say iconic, corporation, that is a publicly-traded entity, chooses to anchor its brand to one of the single most divisive, and I would say “anti-American”, personalities in public today. And the question that just keeps echoing in my mind is “Why?” Can this truly end well for any of the parties involved? The only one I can see as possibly “winning” in this is Colon Kaepernick. And then only because his infamy, and his bank account, will be expanded. In every other measure I can only see this ending badly for the Brand, and the shareholders, that are NIKE. And I’m not sure there is a better illustration of “US vs. THEM” and “THE SANE vs. THE INSANE”. Let’s pray that “WE, THE SANE” prevail.
God Bless America! And America please Bless God again!