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Boycott Boycotts

Boycott Boycotts

I love capitalism. So I ought to love the idea of boycotts.

But, as I’ve written before, I loathe them. Boycotts complicate life. They turn simple acts, like buying grapes or picking a movie, into a political exercise.

Who has the energy?

Plus, I can never remember which companies are on the latest boycott list.

I didn’t like last season’s NFL national anthem protest. But I didn’t stop watching football over it. In fact, I watched more than ever. Because the sport makes me happy. And I want to be happy.

Likewise, I don’t agree with the politics of Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro or almost anyone else in Hollywood. But their movies are entertaining. And I like to be entertained.

Besides, there are only so many Clint Eastwood, Vince Vaughn and Jon Voight films a person can watch.

Which brings me to Nike. Again. 

Last month I wrote about the bizarre behavior of folks who were unhappy with Nike’s decision to make NFL kneeler Colin Kaepernick the face of a new ad campaign. These protesters were burning shoes they already owned. What kind of boycott is THAT?

Frankly, I can think of a dozen athletes I’d rather see than Kaepernick in the “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” ads. But Nike knows its customers and decided Kaepernick was their guy. 

Fine. That’s capitalism.

Nike did something lots of folks didn’t like. Then it turned around and did something extraordinary.

The Oregonian reports that Nike offered a pro contract to a runner from the University of Oregon this week. Justin Gallegos, a junior, has cerebral palsy. The effort it takes for him to run is inspiring.

Take a minute to watch the Instagram video of Nike offering him a deal. 

Oh, and grab a tissue.

Still mad at Nike?

Here’s my advice for a stress-free life: Just buy the dang shoes you like and stop worrying about making statements with your footwear.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Connections and Conflicts

SPECIAL FEATURE: Connections and Conflicts

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