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Nike Shoes: Up In Smoke

Nike Shoes: Up In Smoke

I took a lot of heat in 2014 for a column I wrote that ridiculed the inane “Ice Bucket Challenge” that was dominating social media.

Remember that embarrassing slice of crazy?

I pointed out that the entire YouTube campaign was simply look-at-me narcissism dressed up as charity. And yes, I also noted that ALS was a grim, awful disease and that people ought to open their wallets and contribute to research to lick it. That didn’t satisfy the folks who thought that making videos of themselves with ice cubes bouncing off their craniums was adorable.

Frankly, I’m experiencing that same sense of numb disbelief this week as I watch adults engaging in yet another flaky stunt: Nike Shoe burning.

I can’t think of a more pointless way to protest a company than to destroy its product after you make a purchase. That's not how boycotts work.

Look, I get it. Many people aren’t happy that Nike has hired NFL kneeler Colin Kaepernick as its latest poster boy. They seem especially offended by the motto: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

I, too, am not sure what Kaepernick sacrificed. 

Those of us who follow football are fairly certain that if Kaepernick hadn’t launched the NFL’s kneeling protest two years ago, the washed-up quarterback would be an assistant coach at some college right now instead of raking in millions from endorsements.

His protest - and President Trump’s overblown reaction to it - spread throughout the league, kept Kaepernick in the headlines and is blamed for last season's sharp drop-off in NFL ticket sales and TV ratings. (Although there are reports that some college football seats are empty, too, suggesting that something else may be going on.)

Nike took a risk with Kaepernick. The company’s stock was down 3% on Tuesday and up just a fraction on Wednesday. Surely Nike execs knew that Kaepernick’s face on their advertising campaign would drive many customers away. They clearly believe more folks will embrace the company because of the controversial figure. Let’s see how it works out for them

Fact is, no one forces anyone to buy Nike products. If you don’t like the company, purchase another brand of footwear. There are lots of choices. 

But setting fire to shoes you paid 180 bucks for is nuts. 

How exactly does that hurt Nike? Do you think the company has reps patrolling suburbia to see who’s in the backyard barbecuing their Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbos?

News flash: You already gave the company your money. Nike doesn't care if you turn your shoes into cinders.

If you’re serious about not sporting anything with the Nike logo be a decent human being and give your swooshy shoes to Goodwill. Who knows, THAT might actually prevent a sale.

Just do it.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Good Government. Virginia Beach-Style. Part II

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No, That Wasn’t John McCain’s Senate Seat

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