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As Nike ‘hijacks’ NFL’s national anthem protest, debate rages over who’s on the right side of history

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Amid the left’s claim that they are on the “right side of history,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith charged that Nike has now “hijacked” the national anthem protest from NFL players.

“Unfortunately, I think it will help the Nike brand,” Smith said. “The reason why I use the word unfortunate is because I don’t know if anybody has gotten this — Nike has essentially hijacked this issue. They have now made themselves, instead of Colin Kaepernick, the face of all this.”

Kaepernick, who initiated the show of disrespect for the national anthem to protest alleged police brutality and racial oppression, was used as the face of the new Nike campaign commemorating the 30th anniversary of its iconic “just do it” motto.

And Smith is concerned that the company’s stealing the limelight from the radical left former NFL player.

“We’re going to find ourselves talking more about Nike than we are about Colin Kaepernick, than we are about the protest, than we are about the NFL,” he suggested.

Smith said Nike is looking to “gravitate and ingratiate itself” to the black population “because that’s where their consumer base lies.”

After stating as fact what some studies refute, that “communities of color are having a difficult time with police,” ESPN’s Max Kellerman held up Kaepernick as a martyr for trying to draw attention to this.

“So then the question becomes, who were the people who objected to his silent, peaceful protest? How will history record them?” he asked. “In broad strokes, are they going to be the good guys or the bad guys?

“Nike is on the right side of history here,” Kellerman then declared. “But beyond that, that’s not why they are doing this. They’re doing it because they are in the business of business. They’re trying to make money.”

He then moved to mainstream Kaepernick’s radical political views, glancing over his blatant disrespect for the American flag.

(And ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro, looking to reset the narrative that the network is not a center-left outfit, recently claimed “it’s not our jobs to cover politics.”)

“What this should indicate to other businesses is the assumption, to include the NFL, is the assumption that Colin Kaepernick is bad for their business may be nonsense,” Kellerman said.

He goes on to justify why NFL ratings are down by saying electronic media is more defuse now, claiming it has little to do with the protests while saying Nike is a better marketer than the NFL.

Never mind that Nike shares fell 3.2 percent on Tuesday, according to the New York Post, as calls for a boycott became all the rage on social media. In response, left-wing  athletes like NBA player LeBron James rushed to show support for Kaepernick mug being used as the face of the Nike ad.

 

Tom Tillison

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