Patterico's Pontifications


On Nike, Kaepernick, and Doing the Right Thing for the Wrong Reasons [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:00 pm

[guest post by JVW]

I wrote a post about the Nike Betsy Ross kerfuffle at the same time that Dana did, but like an idiot I didn’t check to see if she was already drafting a post along those lines. I have edited my original draft to cut out the background info to this kerfuffle that Dana’s post richly provided, and I’ll just kind of cut to my thoughts which, as I teased earlier, are slightly contrarian.

As we have already learned, Nike’s Senior Vice-President for Marketing Diversity and Inclusion*, former and perhaps future NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, objected to the sale of the Betsy Ross Flag Nike Air Max 1 shoe. Was he concerned that the $145 price tag (before sales taxes) is approximately two days’ wages, minus withholding, for a $15 per hour minimum wage worker? Was he turned off by the gross commercialism of using a symbol of American pride to peddle footwear likely made in Indonesia? Nah, naturally he objected that the Betsy Ross flag symbolized an era in which Americans held slaves, and that the connotation would be offensive to the type of people who search out things to be offended by. (Please, no one tell the Philadelphia 76ers, who appear to have had at least twelve players of African heritage on their roster this past season.) Nike subsequently ordered the sales halt.

This is the point of the post where a frothing-mouth right-winger like me is supposed to inveigh against the nerve of Colin Kaepernick, the cowardice of Nike, and the death of the American ideal at the hands of the crybullies. But I’m not going to go there. Instead, I want to deliver this message to Mr. Kaepernick:

Thank you.

Thank you for removing from the market an overpriced shoe which cynically tried to tie itself to American heroism and sacrifice. Thank you for confirming once and for all that your campaign is not about police violence or uplifting minority communities, it is about your myopic view of American history that has been drilled into you by hard-left demagogues. Thank you for embarrassing Nike and forcing them to eat a product that had already been manufactured and shipped. And thank you for demonstrating that Nike, a company that has always had an absolutely garbage marketing program (I started a post on this topic over a year ago and just may get around to completing it), holds the American tradition in contempt, at least when it isn’t trying to exploit it for profit. Neither Nike not Colin Kaepernick meant for this to happen, but I think this is going to be one of those situations where almost everyone comes out a winner.

UPDATE: Dan McLaughlin notices the same thing I did.


* I sort of doubt that this is Mr. Kaepernick’s actual title, but it seems to be commensurate with the amount of power he apparently wields at that company. – JVW

20 Responses to “On Nike, Kaepernick, and Doing the Right Thing for the Wrong Reasons [Updated]”

  1. Not to mention the responsibility that Nike bears for marketing their product to members of low-income communities who should probably be making a more price-sensitive purchase.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. God Almighty! No sooner had I published this post than Nike ran a World Cup halftime ad about girls in sports where the narrator says, “Maybe your goal is to be the first thirteen-year-old to go professional” overlaid upon a picture of a young girl playing soccer. As if what the world needs is more barely-teenagers being exploited by professional sports leagues. What the hell is wrong with that company?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  3. well they are as evil, as google pretends not to be,

    narciso (d1f714)

  4. I disliked Nike even before Colin Kaepernick became infamous. I’ve never been a fan of their shoes, and I am turned off by the way Phil Knight subsidizes University of Oregon football, from facilities to fancy uniforms with variations too numerous to count. Oregon is one of the few teams in college football whom I love to see lose.

    norcal (b50285)

  5. Phil Knight was just demoted to #2 in charge by krapernick.
    Hurley is also inbred with nike.
    New Balance is the shoe for thee
    most of them are made in this country

    mg (8cbc69)

  6. I haven’t purchased Nikes since at least 1992 (I’ll explain why in a near-future post, hopefully), and for the last 15 years or so I’ve been buying exclusively New Balance. I used to like Converse too, until they were acquired by, sigh, Nike.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  7. UPDATE: Dan McLaughlin notices the same thing that I did.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  8. Jim Davis of New Balance would never do such a thing as nike has done.

    mg (8cbc69)

  9. Speaking of New Balance, even the oft-tiresome David Brooks gets in on the action:

    David Brooks – @nytdavidbrooks

    I only wear New Balance because Nike was a goddess in a Greek culture that practiced slavery.

    9:23 AM – 2 Jul 2019

    JVW (54fd0b)

  10. I like the look of the shoe, New Balance should counter with a worthy product.

    mg (8cbc69)

  11. Next time you see these sneakers the hordes of illegals crossing the border will be wearing them.

    mg (8cbc69)

  12. Can’t we all just along? Can’t we all be friends? Why all this nonsense about patriotism anyway?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  13. Like Jonah Goldberg said, Colin Kapernick is a man of principle.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  14. Can’t we get back to the real issues, like Tariffs or stopping Google from being regulated?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  15. but lets be blunt, the reason they did it, was they wanted to discourage any feeling of patriotism among the young, like jill lepores compendium of misdeeds, America is not to be celebrated except when progressive aspirations are exalted,

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. A Large batch of whitewash to commence with inspector Horowitz and his rigged report.

    mg (8cbc69)

  17. @6. Bought a pair of inexpensive Nike ‘training’ shoes at a Sports Authority on 34th St. in NYC back in 1989– for $12. Yes, twelve bucks. Still have ’em. No kidding; soles are worn down; a few holes along the sides, torn around the heels; Goop-glued in spots, taped, stitched and generally a wreck– but still wear ’em to cut the grass.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. Bought the first pair of Air Jordans – in Chicago no less. Just the cheap canvas ones. But unless Nike makes shoes with no laces, no Nikes for me.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  19. The list is getting longer: No Gillette shaving cream since that commercial, no Old Spice either (Right Guard is better anyway), and yes, Nike has always seemed inferior to NB. And the flag shoe looked good!

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442)

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