Fallout: Nike Loses $4B in one Day, Law Enforcement Boycotts
The Nike franchise lost a whopping $4 Billion yesterday, although their stock rebounded slightly today. But law enforcement groups issued one consistent message across the nation: avoid Nike products. Police organizations rarely issue boycotts.
Blue Lives Matter stated:
“The choice of Colin Kaepernick by Nike to be ‘the Face’ of their 30th Anniversary Campaign is an affront to every American law enforcement officer…Nike’s pandering to Kaepernick’s brand of politically correct hate mongering against those who serve this Nation behind a badge and the disrespect he has sown to the symbols of love of our country reveals how corrupt Nike has become. When an organization is more concerned with profits than with the values of justice and service that thousands have given their lives to preserve, they reveal what they truly stand for….greed and dishonor.” Randy Sutton, Blue Lives Matter national spokesman
Ouch. Blue Lives Matter has only one other time advised a boycott: when Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream went the way of Black Lives Matter.
The National Association of Police Organizations sent a letter to Nike that reads in part (emphasis mine):
On behalf of the more than 241,000 law enforcement officers represented by our Association across the country, I write to you to condemn in the strongest possible terms your selection of Colin Kaepernick for Nike’s “Just Do It” ad campaign. Mr. Kaepernick is known, not as a successful athlete, but as a shallow dilletante seeking to gain notoriety by disrespecting the flag for which so many Americans have fought and died.
The inclusion of Mr. Kaepernick in Nike’s “Just Do It” ad campaign also perpetuates the falsehood that police are racist and aiming to use force against African Americans and persons of color. In reality, officers across the nation risk their lives not only protecting the athletes featured in Nike’s various campaigns, but also serve aspiring athletes across the country who use the Nike brand, through the thousands of Police Athletic Leagues, Boys and Girls Clubs and Big Brother/Big Sister programs where our officers donate their time and energy. They deserve to have the respect and full support of corporate citizens like Nike. Adding to the insult is the image of Mr. Kaepernick from the campaign featuring the quote “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The fact that Mr. Kaepernick is no longer a starting NFL player does not equate to him being someone who has “sacrificed everything”. To truly understand what it means to “believe in something” and “sacrifice everything”, you should look to Arlington National Cemetery, or to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, D.C., or to the trauma unit of a military hospital.
The brave men and women of every race and color buried there, memorialized there, healing there, believed in this nation and our flag and exemplify the true meaning of “sacrifice”.
In featuring Mr. Kaepernick in the “Just Do It” campaign, Nike grossly insults the men and women who really do make sacrifices for the sake of our nation. We are calling on all our member officers, their families and friends to join in boycotting all Nike products.
Michael McHale, President of NAPO
So the fallout has begun in earnest against Nike. Who sacrifices “everything”? Real heroes: people who have given their lives in the line of duty, people willing to serve others at the risk of their lives. Kaepernick is no hero, and wouldn’t know real sacrifice if it jumped up and hit him in the face. Especially since we learned that Nike was paying him the entire time he’s been off the NFL.
He never lost anything. The whole campaign is a farce. But it is serving to place even more police officers in danger. The risk of assassination is high and Nike is feeding it.
Featured photo- Screenshot of one of Kaepernick’s “police as pigs” socks via Blue Lives Matter