President Donald Trump weighed in on the controversial Nike ad featuring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick to say it sends a “terrible message,” but added that the company’s decision to support the radically left former NFL player is “what this country is all about.”
“I think it’s a terrible message,” Trump told the Daily Caller in an exclusive Oval Office interview Tuesday. “Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent,”
The president was referring to the company’s flagship retail store, Niketown New York, which is located on commercial property owned by Trump — Nike announced late last year that they would be moving to a new location.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 4, 2018
As for Nike using Kaepernick as the face of its new marketing campaign, Trump said “there’s no reason” for the decision.
“I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it,” he added. “But I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it.”
Not that he didn’t support the company’s right to make its own business decisions.
“As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way — I mean, I wouldn’t have done it,” Trump said. “In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”
As for the message, the ad states, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
In effect, Nike implies that Kaepernick has made a sacrifice in showing disrespect for the national anthem in a protest of alleged police brutality and racial oppression, but Mediaite’s John Ziegler says there’s far more to the story that the liberal media opts to ignore.
In an editorial run Tuesday, Ziegler noted that while Kaepernick is seen as a liberal martyr, there’s good reason to question if he was really “blackballed” in the NFL.
He explains that the former player had success early on in the league, but noted that his performance dropped off significantly over time, in part because of his style as a running quarterback.
“This was great when it is new because [defenses] didn’t know how to prepare for it. However, NFL defenses are famous for catching on to how to stop the new flavor of the month,” Ziegler wrote.
And as his performance, and his starting job, began to show strains, Kaepernick the political activist was born.
“It was only at THAT point, with his starting position, and maybe even his roster spot, clearly in jeopardy, that Kaepernick suddenly became a political activist, kneeling for the national anthem during preseason games and, surely by coincidence, letting his afro grow out,” the columnist noted.
Ziegler goes on to lay out why no team is eager to sign a marginally good player, if that, knowing they’ll have to “blow up their whole style of offense to accommodate him” — not to mention the political celebrity blowing up their fan base.
As with everything these days, it all comes back to Donald Trump.
“An NFL player who never showed any interest in being an activist, saw the handwriting on the wall that his career was in peril, he then brilliantly contrived these protests as personal protection and an excuse, and it went far better than he ever imagined it might have, largely because of the election of Donald Trump, who has used this issue to continue his decades long vendetta against the NFL,” Ziegler penned.
He concluded that Kaepernick, who is “making far more money now than he would have been today if this controversy had never erupted…. has ‘sacrificed’ nothing,” and that Nike now “gets to associate itself with the ‘resistance’ against Trump.”
All of which does Trump a favor, according to Ziegler, because the president “gets to renew his boogieman to distract his base and take advantage of racial divisions.”
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