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Nike can do whatever it wants to do within the confines of the law. The multi-billion-dollar corporation has every right to choose what athletes represent its brand. It may be recovering from its #MeToo damage control and is trying to put all of that behind it. It is permitted to sell sneakers, apparel, and other products. It is even allowed to put the face of a loser on its thirtieth year celebration of its famous “Just Do It” campaign. Loser is the only way to describe NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick. Along with the evil message, “believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” The image of Kaepernick is disgusting. Sacrifice is a vice, to begin with here. His disregard for law enforcement matched with his lack of respect for the American flag and what it represents are terrible reminders of just how undignified and ignominious this football player is.
Take into consideration the idea of a white player doing what Kaepernick does. He would be lambasted as a racist and an advocate for criminology. He would be denigrated at every turn and looked down upon as a traitor to his country. But oh, no. Kaepernick gets a pass just because of the color of his skin. It’s not reverse racism. It’s just racism. Kaepernick is given magazine covers, conferences, and of course the Nike ad. If there had been a white player who positioned himself the way that Kaepernick has, he wouldn’t last in the NFL another season.
So burn up your “Racist Pig” socks for First Principles: Worst Ways That Kaepernick Has Shamed America
One of the greatest companies in world history has slid not only on the stock exchange but also in the department of morality. The brand of Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, Lebron James, Serena Williams, and a whole host of other notable professional athletes has evaded the fact that they are losing ground to companies like Adidas. With scandals on their radar, the company is scrambling to remain relevant in this open market of other choices in their realm of expertise. They are also slipping by choosing Kaepernick in their latest advertisement. For Nike to give shine to this chump is an expression that their days as a halcyon sneaker and apparel company may be over.
The viciousness behind the statement about sacrifice only drives a knife deeper into the wound of irresponsibility. To sacrifice is to give up a greater value for a lesser or nonvalue. This ad campaign is illustrating how people ought to relinquish their spiritual and material goods for the worst things in the world. It means that a man or woman cannot prosper and achieve without giving something that they cherish up for something that seemingly is of lesser worth. To broadcast this to potentially billions of people throughout the world is to continue the trend of America’s demise through cultural sloppiness.
The act of giving up a life as a bellboy to be a football player isn’t a sacrifice. The act of giving up a life as a ballerina to clean out bedpans is (if your highest value was dancing). When you take a route that brings you from a higher position to a lower position, it doesn’t constitute a sacrifice, however. If you choose to be a barista rather than an executive at Starbucks because you enjoy your work, that is not a sacrifice. You have the ability to choose how to work and in what environment and figure out the best life for you depending on your values.
Kaepernick has no clue what sacrifice truly means. If he did, he would shave off all of his hair, sell every possession that he owns, disavow the Nike deal he made or any other endorsement deals, and renounce his place in the NFL. That would be a sacrifice. Putting in work, exercising, and even experiencing pain in the process is not sacrificial. To do all of these things and produce nothing, that is a thoroughly evil act of sacrifice. “Giving up everything” means just that, including your highest value, your life.
Now, Kaepernick doesn’t have to kill himself to achieve this. All he has to do is continue to slum and bum in the doldrums of immorality. He just has to continue lowering himself to the level of an animal. His emotion driven crusade is the representation of a culture that prizes sacrifice as a virtue. He is tasked with being the platinum boy of the movement of athletes who give up millions of dollars to charity. That’s okay, as long as it doesn’t hurt them. But that’s not what the ad reads. It depicts Kaepernick with the tagline to “give up everything.” To follow this would mean self-immolation and for everyone to follow that frame of mind. Every person who makes enough money to donate large amounts to charities ought to view Kaepernick as a two-bit louse. Now, Kaepernick himself might say that he isn’t advocating that kind of sacrifice. It might mean some wishy-washy, grey, nebulous version of sacrifice. In fact, the idea may seem innocuous by comparison to the actual meaning of sacrifice.
If Kaepernick ever needed the assistance of the police, who would he call? A private investigator? No, he would cry out for the nearest officer on the beat. His disregard for the men and women in blue shows that he is a coward. He wants to hide behind the shield if his life is threatened, but otherwise, he’s an outspoken hater of all those police officers. These are the cops who risk their lives every day to keep peace in the streets. These Citizens on Patrol (COP), guard the most shadowy lands. And they do it without the support of people like Kaepernick. It is definitely not their sacrifice or selflessness that propels them to put on a uniform every day. It is their selfish dedication to themselves and to their families that makes an officer wake up a four o’clock in the morning and clock out at eleven at night. It is the fact that they are tasked with providing the first line of defense against domestic criminals.
What Kaepernick and his ilk fail to realize is that with a world without police officers or government officers in particular, the United States would become a wheelbarrow economy. Lawlessness would reign and any semblance of order would be relegated to roving gangs armed with makeshift weapons bringing into real life the scenes depicted in The Purge series. Kaepernick wouldn’t last a day under such duress. So why is it that he talk down about cops and even shows off socks depicting them as pigs? It is because in his infantile mind he feels that all of the cops are murderous outlaws seeking blood and vengeance against black and brown people, in particular.
Police officers, no matter his rhetoric, are still sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States and still protect the rights of Kaepernick. Though he is brain-sullied into believing that cops are the problem, he still clings onto the notion he should be protected. Those same officers that he maligned would be more than willing to take a bullet for him. They would gun down any potentially lethal threats against Kaepernick’s life. What he also fails to understand is the idea that police officers have done wrong in the past. They do wrong in the present and the future is there for them to get things wrong, as well. But that doesn’t mean that Kaepernick should eschew commending and showing his support for the blue shield.
Kaepernick ought to take time to comprehend the reality of cutting down cops with his words and actions. He should be enabled to speak freely, yes. But he should remember what protects him from uttering vicious words against law enforcement. When they raise their right hand, they are dedicating their lives to selfish service. In the structure of the police force, the goal is to serve and protect. Even if that means offering your services and protection to someone who refuses to see the bravery, the honor, and heroism inherent in the police officers’ daily lives. Because of their morality (for the most part) we may live in relative tranquility in America.
Now it is fair for people to say that Kaepernick is just an athlete and he can express himself any way that he wishes. But there are other individuals who would say that even though he is not amongst the intellectual ranks, he still holds more influence than a stuffy professor in an ivory tower. On the streets, Kaepernick is nothing but a wannabe political figure who should focus on making changes to the state of the individual in this country. Every day, the sanctity of the individual is eroding. Kaepernick has the position and the power of influence to regard this topic of chief importance.
His status as a professional athlete would capture the minds of the youth more than any bureaucrat. Kaepernick possesses the opportunity to unite a divided America in the name of reason, egoism, and capitalism. He’s another example of a gray man. His premises are so mixed it’s like he put all of his principles in a blender and then gulped them down like a protein shake. His mental makeup may not be as a brilliant philosopher who may change the course of history. Yet, Kaepernick still has the chance to reach youths and elders alike and make the real statements that this country ought to hear.
There remain stories about how financiers and executives are derided on a daily basis. He could go on a speaking tour espousing the goodness of having an ego and protecting one’s pride as businesspeople. And he could team up with Nike, one of the premiere companies in history to show how capitalism has helped a billion people rise up out of poverty over the last thirty years. Is that a coincidence that Nike helped, through sweatshops and other ways for desperate people to work, and the “Just Do It” campaign turned thirty as well?
The fact remains. Kaepernick is a confused man with conflicting principles. On one hand, he’s dedicated to his craft and can garner respectable numbers on the field. However, with all of his political bluster, it knocks him down a few pegs. He’s not a great thinker. But he has every right to express his thoughts, though. Intellectualism is not a part of his moral fiber, so of course he’s going to be a charlatan when it comes to the state of the country and the pulse of the world.
Why hasn’t Kaepernick come to the defense of those in his tax bracket? They (for the most part) earned their fortunes and should have a zero tax imposition just like the rest of the country ought to have. Kaepernick could go after the real ghouls and goblins that haunt this nation. He could address the abysmal education system that America currently faces. Why isn’t Kaepernick advocating for the privatization of all schools? He could make a statement about how schools should be run like corporations such as Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, and Netflix.
How come Kaepernick is not supporting the separation between the state and the economy? He could certainly benefit from the fact that without the government’s hands in business, Americans would be empowered to earn more money and keep it. Should he have a speaking tour on the separation of state and ideas? Why is there still prayer and recognition of religious holidays and environmentalism within the Congress and at the White House? Would he be able to lend his voice to distinguish the state from these ideas? Should Kaepernick consider the validity of dividing the state from the practice of engaging in science? His path could lead him down a road to aiding scientists in securing private grants to fund various projects from archeological digs to CRISPR.
Whatever the case, Kaepernick will continue to be a lightning rod for attention, adulation, and enmity, simultaneously.