Unless you’re living under a rock, you heard that Nike is using Colin Kaepernick as the face of the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign.
The decision set off a headache-inducing back and forth on social media, with left-leaning folks applauding the choice and right-leaning folks threatening to boycott Nike and/or cutting the “swoosh” logos off of their socks:
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
That’s from John Rich, one half of the country duo “Big and Rich” who did that “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” song back in the day.
I’ll spare you the political stuff and get to the irony of the matter, which is the fact that Nike happens to have a partnership with the NFL. A new apparel deal signed in March keeps that partnership alive through 2028, with Nike supplying all 32 teams with game-day uniforms and sideline garb.
That might create a bit of unease between disgustingly rich NFL people and disgustingly rich Nike people, considering that Kaepernick and the league are involved in a lawsuit over whether or not disgustingly rich owners colluded to keep him unemployed.
The league released a statement this afternoon in response to Nike’s decision, and it’s a whole bunch of nothing:
The NFL has released a statement on social justice, saying the issues that Colin Kaepernick and others have raised deserve attention and action. pic.twitter.com/QfmEUkXdjT
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 4, 2018
Kaepernick himself has been on the Nike roster dating back to 2011. The company hasn’t used him in recent years for marketing purposes, and he’s obviously not on an NFL squad right now, but this basically just reignites all of the furor over the national anthem stuff, which – believe it or not – began as a demonstration to highlight racial injustice and social unbalance in America.
Throw in a powerhouse apparel company with a ton of sub-contracted foreign factories, and now we’ve got a global clusterfuck on our hands.