Well, in their infinite wisdom, Nike decided to make former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick the face of their Just Do It campaign. The ad has been released. The tagline is “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.” Kaepernick is a source of controversy, a vehicle for the left wing social justice activism that struck the NFL two years ago when he started to take a knee during the national anthem. There were a multitude of reasons but race relations and police brutality seem to be the top issues for why he and other players started this nonsense. No doubt the cause is worth a discussion. I totally disagree with their take, but it’s worthy of a discussion. All that good will went out the window as soon as you start trashing the flag. Kaepernick’s anti-police stance also drew a backlash. These players see their side getting attention. Everyone else sees them trashing the flag, our veterans, and those who have died in service to the country. It’s unpatriotic. It’s not appropriate—and the NFL knows it. When President Trump torched the players for kneeling, he won a solid cultural victory.
So, with Nike becoming more or less a hipster brand, they put this left wing activist as the face of their new campaign. How did it fare? It cost them billions as market shares tanked upon its announcement. It cost them billions, though it’s not going to sink the company. It did, however, cause the net favorability of Nike to drop by double-digits and no boosts were registered within key demographics for the brand. That’s, uh, not good. Quite a hefty loss for trying to keep Kaepernick relevant Morning Consult has the numbers:
Nike’s Favorability Drops by Double Digits: Before the announcement, Nike had a net +69 favorable impression among consumers; it has now declined 34 points to +35 favorable.
No Boost Among Key Demos: Among younger generations, Nike users, African Americans, and other key demographics, Nike’s favorability declined rather than improved.
Purchasing Consideration Also Down: Before the announcement, 49 percent of Americans said they were absolutely certain or very likely to buy Nike products. That figure is down to 39 percent now.
The Effect on the NFL Seems Small, For Now: Forty percent of consumers said Nike’s campaign does not make them more or less likely to watch/attend NFL games — 21 percent said more likely and 26 percent said less likely (14 percent didn’t know).
Yet, Nike might have slapped veterans as well, who reportedly aren’t happy with the slogan. While many might not take issue with Kaepernick per se, the message the ad sends is a bit out of line to our nation’s best who had lost friends on the battlefield. Those people sacrificed everything. Nate Boyer, a former NFL player for the Seattle Seahawks and Green Beret, has more; Boyer was the one who convinced Kaepernick to kneel instead of sit during these protests (via Mercury News):
I’ve got a lot of people in the veteran community maybe that take more offense to the message of sacrificing everything more than the fact that Kaepernick is sort of the focus of the campaign,” said Boyer, hinting that thousands of veterans sacrificed their lives to serve the country. “Some people here are maybe hurt by the slogan itself. But I’m not going to say (Kaepernick) hasn’t sacrificed quite a bit. There’s no doubt about that.”
Boyer, if you recall, met privately with Kaepernick after the quarterback first protested the national anthem in the name of social justice for minorities. Boyer convinced Kaepernick to stop sitting on a bench and start kneeling during the anthem for a more respectful protest in the eyes of veterans.
“I don’t necessarily support Kap, but I will always stand up for his rights,” Boyer said.
Yes, we support his right to say and do these things, and we have the right to respond and say that he’s deplorable. This is a messy fight the cultural Left decided to wage, but it’s one in which they will lose again and again. Americans are patriotic. They love football. And they support law enforcement. Kaepernick is just another middle finger to conservative America. It’s fine. We’ll have this debate and school the liberals again if need be.