One disgruntled washed-up former NFL millionaire decides he sees the phantom of "racism" in the Betsy Ross flag edition of a Nike shoe, and a once-great shoe company decides it has to jump to the off-tune song of Mr. disgruntled. One would think the over-used "racist" accusation would have run its course. Americans of all races are sick to death of spoiled brats being pandered to by the embedded Left who permeate every facet of American life, academia, media, politics, and business. Nike may prove to be the straw that breaks the branding power of "racism."
Nike, formerly a highly-regarded shoe company, the company who turned the "sneaker" shoe into a massively successful business through innovation and clever marketing, continues to pander to the fantasies of a narcissistic former sideline-sitter millionaire in the NFL, a league that is also infected with a disease that prevents it from standing up for what is right.
Is it an inability to know right from wrong? Or is it just plain ideological stupidity?
Frankly, it doesn't really matter. The result is the same. The NFL is no longer the place to be on Sundays, and it likely never will be. Nike was the active shoe to own. But no longer. It has become the poster child for politically-correct suicide.
Pity the Nike stockholders who hang on in the hopes of a rebound. The company will likely try to put it's best politically-correct face forward. Perhaps Nike will offer the "diversity shoe" with one shoe black and the other brown and both with white laces. Of course, the moment that shoe appeared, Mr. disgruntled would claim it was a "racist" gesture representing Black and Brown people being held in bondage by their White masters. There is nothing that cannot be called "racist" in the distorted world of those who indulge the fantasies of politically-correctness. The very term "politically-correct" is an assault on free speech.
What the knuckleheads who run Nike and the NFL don't seem to realize is that diversity for the sake of diversity is an insult to everyone.
If it isn't real, then it isn't appealing.
All the effort and marketing that went into producing the patriotic Betsy Ross flag shoe is being tossed out the window because one disgruntled narcissist decides to throw a tantrum and call the shoe racist. It is hard to imagine that Nike can ever again gain broad respectability for its brand. Bending over backwards so far to the tune of "racist" has warped Nike's view so badly it now sees the world upside-down and thinks it is viewing reality. It isn't. It is rank pandering of the worst kind that demeans the real meaning of racist.
It is unfortunate for Nike employees to have to come to grips (once again) with the fact they are working for short-sighted panderers in upper management. No amount of staged "support" or fake "loyalty" will ever overcome the stark reality of Nike's capitulation to a spoiled washed-up brat. Nike is facilitating childish divisive behavior.
Yet the great thing about a capitalist world of diverse sources for shoes is that Nike's blunder will create many opportunities for success elsewhere. Whichever shoe company comes out with their own patriotic Betsy Ross flag edition will reap an enormous benefit that will be both appreciated and lasting.
While Nike and the NFL might hang on, the course they have set for their future will once again sharply cut into their market appeal. They have set their course on a road to a world of decline that no amount of double-talk will be able to change. The slope may be shallow or steep, but the destination will remain the same. Nike and the NFL are permanently-damaged brands.
All because they had no backbone to stand firm against Mr. disgruntled, the ex-NFL-sideline sitter with a narcissistic complex. Had both just ignored the antics of Mr. disgruntled, few would ever have known of his childish behavior. All the NFL had to do was instruct TV cameras to show only the American flag during the anthem, yet the NFL's vastly over-paid Commissioner hadn't the clarity to take action to put a rapid end to Mr. disgruntled's attempt to garner attention. All Nike had to do was ignore Mr. disgruntled to avoid earning the permanent disdain of millions of lost customers.
Mr. disgruntled will just have to pout in obscurity because the sane world isn't run by politically-correct panderers. Nobody has to buy Nike products and nobody has to watch the NFL.
Good riddance to Nike, the NFL, and Mr. disgruntled. Sad to see you pander to the wrong impulses. But under the circumstances, not at all sorry to see you go.
Author of "Looking Out the Window", an evidence-based examination of the "climate change" issue, Bob Webster, is a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s). He is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.
A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.