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misteraven

Weigh In: Nike and Kaepernick = Freedom of speech?

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Hello everyone... Been a minute since I've dropped a "Weigh In" topic and with all the hoopla surrounding Nike's recent campaign featuring Kaepernick, I figured we had a good content opportunity to warm up and engage that grey matter between your ears for the purposes of analyzing and discussing the latest hot button topic.

 

For those not familiar with these weigh in topics, definitely search "Weigh In" for some other good ones, like the Social Media discussion and the political correctness vs Teen Violence discussion.

 

Current Topic: Is the Kaepernick protest really even about freedom of speech? And is Nike flipping this into an ad campaign a brilliant marketing move or a sincere gesture of support? Are either credible in regards to the subject being protested?

 

Okay, so I'm kicking this topic off with a couple questions, rather than one straight forward question. All "Weigh In" discussions are fairly loaded, but this one I feel touches on a couple obvious angles. If you are not familiar with Kaepernick and his NFL / pledge of allegiance protest, go ahead and crawl out from under that rock you've been living under for the last year and google a bit of that before dropping your two cents.

 

So, with the groundwork out of thew way, I'll go ahead and start this discussion off. Though this subject touches on several angles, I find it to be surprisingly straight forward considering the impact its had on the social dialogue. Obviously, it doesn't take a lot to kick social media up into a frenzy and I also am fairly convinced there is a concerted agenda to fuel and amplify hyper-divisiveness (another reminder to go listen to this podcast - A Current Look at the Great Lie of Dichotomy) in this country, so this topic does feel a bit suspect to me considering all this.

 

There should be zero doubt, in this country at least, that each individual has the freedom to believe what they wish. Likewise, though there is no absolute human or constitutional right to protest, the First Amendment does guarantee the Freedom of Speech and protest which in turn is seen as a manifestation of the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association, and the right to freedom of speech, all of which are a guaranteed right. (side note: though the Bill of Rights, which comprise the first 10 Amendments of the US Constitution are rights guaranteed to citizens of the United States, the Founders responsible for it saw these as basic human rights and were only guaranteed to Americans as that was the extent of their ability to "guarantee").

 

So with that foundation out there, let's evaluate the specifics of the current situation... Kaepernick is a professional athlete, meaning that he's paid to put on that uniform and play a sport. His protest is that he's chosen to kneel during the national anthem, which precedes most professional sporting events, rather than stand, which is the tradition. Obviously, when a stadium hosting tens of thousands of people are all standing at attention, having a player not stand is glaringly obvious, especially considering they're all there to see these players and those players are down on the field, literally in the spotlight.

 

I believe this is the key factor here and as such, wondering why its even really a debate at all. Though we're all guaranteed certain rights as Americans, there's an intent behind the existence of those rights that allow for (what should be) obvious context to them, as well as how when they are applied. This individual is at his work place and on the clock as a professional. That means his time is being paid for so that he can perform the task for which he was hired. That means his personal interests outside his responsibilities as a professional are reasonably suspended until he is no longer on the clock. 

 

Regardless of the validity of his protest (or not), reality is he's in uniform and there to perform according to what he was hired. Here's another scenario to help illustrate this concept... Let's say there's some event in which the news cameras are out covering an event. Would it be acceptable for a police officer on duty that happens to be in front of the camera to suddenly disregard what he's been hired to do and hold up a sign protesting abortions? What about a secret service detail that is supposed to be jogging along the side of a presidential vehicle during a high profile event... Would it be acceptable for that individual to pull a vest on that has a message protesting the Christian persecution happening in Iran?

 

All are instances of people exercising their freedom of speech, but none are appropriate considering the circumstances. You can literally apply endless examples of this, even outside being a professional. For example, how about a junior high school student skilling school to go to a pro choice rally? The consequence of that is an unexcused absence. Just because they're exercising their right to free speech and assembly, does not suddenly excuse the absence and with enough of them, there is eventually a consequence.

 

Now moving past that, and perhaps getting into my own personal gripe which has zero to do with the subject of his protest... I can't freakin stand to see people in positions of extreme power and / or privilege go around trying to tell all the rest of us what we should believe or not believe. Yeah, I get they have the right to believe what they want and under most circumstance say and do what they want... But besides being unable to take it seriously, it almost always wreaks of arrogance and often, entitlement. Though Kaepernick is a different thing to say, Leonardo Dicaprio preaching about global warming, while flying himself and his entourage around the world regularly on private jets, it's just hard to take some mega star seriously, especially when most of the time their efforts largely only exist when there's a spotlight and cameras around. For the right way to affect change, look at Angelina Jolie and her humanitarian efforts... Using her success, access (privilege) to actually affect meaningful change in a way that comes off as genuine and selfless.

 

Which leads me to now Nike's appropriation of Kaepernicks protest as part of an ad campaign. And an ad campaign it most certainly is, considering their inclusion of the "Just Do It" tagline and swoosh. Admittedly, it could be argued that the inclusion of the tagline and swoosh is Nike's statement of support, but considering how savvy their marketing has always been, for me at least, it wreaks of insincerity and just looks like a slick way of getting a thousand times the return they normally see from their ad buys. Even if Nike is great at appropriating "cultural moments" (or perhaps because of), this ad campaign fell way flat to me versus being that milestone moment in this particular dialogue. And not for nothing, but isn't Kaepernick a shitty ball player? What exactly has he sacrificed here? He's got exponentially more attention on him than he would have if he'd just stood up for the national anthem. Clearly he's leveraged the spotlight, as it's the basis of his protest, so one would simply assume he'll continue to leverage the spotlight into greater and greater opportunities than a mediocre career in professional football.

 

Anyhow, if nothing else I figure it's an interesting conversation. So take a moment to digest and then throw down your well considered and constructed argument below.

 

 

 

 

 

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I facepalmed so hard. Not enough to get me to stop buying Nikes but Im just so over companies weighing in on politics. Fuck off with that shit, seriously. Was 2016 not enough to clue them in that we dont give a shit what they think? I like their shoes, their politics can piss off.

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I might respect the guy's intentions, but by his actions, he's a douche IMO.  No fucks to give for him, and no reason to either- he's really  nobody.  

I've never observed much in the way of patriotism at a sporting event, so having the anthem play at all is kind of absurd to me.  Too much attention given to all this.

I do agree that dude is at his job (and being overpaid) so that is not his place/time to protest.  HOWEVER, more general, when it comes to shit like the pledge or the anthem, those things represent us having the freedom to do what we want, like burning a flag or not placing your hand over your heart.  Whole thing is really an issue because people made it one, if they didn't focus on him no one would even notice him kneeling or pay it much mind.  Final thought on this guy is he's yet another example of American protestors doing it all wrong.  

 

Nike can kind of suck a dick too.  When anyone or any entity engages in something like this (throwing in their support) it is very hard to consider their actions purely altruistic when they slap their branding all over it.  I did some digging into the concepts of charity and altruism a while back and found one concept of charity having different levels, with the highest level being anonymous, in part because it is done in a way that saves face and spares feelings for all involved.  So to come back around to Nike, I might feel they were more sincere if they maybe threw out some coin on the DL to an activist group or such without having to plaster their name all over it...  contact the funeral home of a person wrongly killed by the police and just cover the fams expenses or something.  There's no need to advertise.

 

Sure dude, just do it.  But make sure you're wearing our logo when you do...$$$

 

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Sorry, realize I misspoke in my original post and do feel its an important discrepancy. Corrected it in @Joker's post of the same topic here: https://forum.12ozprophet.com/topic/86736-backlash-against-nike-for-new-colin-kaepernick-ad/?tab=comments#comment-6301379

 

Quote

 

That being said, I mistakenly said pledge of allegiance which in fact has a lot of bearing on this. They're standing for the Star Spangled banner which is our National Anthem. Nobody is pledging allegiance to anybody here and to stand for it is a universal sign of respect that generally anyone would observe, whether its the national anthem of your own country or some other.

 

In any case, I think it makes completer sense in this context as sports represent some of whats best about a country. That we live in a country where someone can make an amazing life from playing sports professionally. That we can all come together and cheer our favorite teams and partake in a friendly competition that helps determine the best of the best of what the country has to offer for that sport. 

 

 

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Hmm. I pretty much disagree with 50% of what's been said, will try to make time Saturday for a full response.

 

Basically, the idea that one is required to give up ones individual opinions or constotutional liberties because they are contracted for a specific duty is a bit ludicrous outside of LE or military. It's a final stage in our inability as a nation to act civilly with those we disagree with (and reinforces a false dichotomy).

 

An absolutely humble protest against the egregious violations of constitutional rights of millions of Americans ought not be discouraged simply because most of our moronic citizens don't want to talk about politics, or simply cannot do so. 

 

In the end, we have americans who get mad when Zach de la Rocha or mike ness get political, while barely half of us turn out to vote for the President and less for local elections. Basically--imo, if you don't participate you don't get an opinion. Like people that talk about football only at the super bowl or talk about soccer every four years. 

 

I know it's not an organized thought, but I'm typing with my thumbs..

 

And until nike stops having their shit made in third world sweat shops they won't get a cent from me, regardless of their advertising gimmicks.

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12 minutes ago, Fist 666 said:

And until nike stops having their shit made in third world sweat shops they won't get a cent from me, regardless of their advertising gimmicks.

Just curious, what do you wear and wheres it made?

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so dude is all about fighting against police violence against minority groups......which I'm down with. But linking up with a corporation with a history of human rights violations......anyone see the irony in all this?

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I hope Kap hooks up with some community activists and pushes for better education, or if a corporation receives tax breaks it should hire and train individuals from low income neighborhoods. I'll support that over corporations getting tax breaks and then sending jobs overseas so they can take advantage  of the lack of oversight by the government. 

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11 minutes ago, Kults said:

Just curious, what do you wear and wheres it made?

Red wing boots made in Minnesota. 

 

Though of course my other clothes are not so principled, as black band t shirts are 90% made next door to nike....

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2 minutes ago, Fist 666 said:

Red wing boots made in Minnesota. 

 

Though of course my other clothes are not so principled, as black band t shirts are 90% made next door to nike....

Thats kinda what I was driving at. At least you know.

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I'm on the opposite side of the sweatshop debate. Those jobs (while they're not up to my standards) are the best options they have availiable in some of those countries. If they weren't, people would choose to work someplace else. Besides, I'm on my 2nd pair of Flyknit VaporMaxes this year.

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Also completely disagree with the idea that you can’t complain if you don’t vote. 

 

Might make some sense if the lack of voting was disinterest in the political process, but to think we should continue to cast a vote for the lesser of two evils as a way of pretending we’re a part of the process affecting change is ridiculous. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mercer said:

I'm on the opposite side of the sweatshop debate. Those jobs (while they're not up to my standards) are the best options they have availiable in some of those countries. If they weren't, people would choose to work someplace else. Besides, I'm on my 2nd pair of Flyknit VaporMaxes this year.

Likewise... Though admittedly, I don’t think it’s quite this simple, especially in countries that do have actual slave labor. Or systems of manual labor that get pretty close to it for most intents and purposes. Truth is that most people don’t understand enough about economics in general, let alone globalization and all its intricacies, and simply think that because we earn $12 an hour to flip burgers, that they should be paid way more to build iPhones. Reality is you’d immediately collapse their economy if you were to try and impose our version of it on them. 

 

Nevermind getting into discissions about purchasing power of currency (inflation, deflation), debasement, debt etc. 

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I hope to weigh in soon when I'm off this Dayquil/Nyquil funk I'm on.  The while fam is sick and we're miserable lot.  RE: Nike's intentions? We all know controversy is marketing.  They're are playing a hand....

 

Personally Pat Tillman is more worthy of that ad slogan than Kapernick.  (Also, I'd highly recommend reading John Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory about Tillman and the US MIL's attempt to use him as propaganda--not to derail the thread....)

Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 10.00.08 PM.png

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I think that the protests have worked brilliantly, the proof is in the the reaction, all the way to the president.

 

Cashing in on it is no less cynical than perverting football games into a recruiting advertisement for the military, which manages to cheapen both the sport and the military. 

 

I think apple was there first a few years ago with their adverts featuring Gandhi.

 

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5 minutes ago, morton said:

I think that the protests have worked brilliantly, the proof is in the the reaction, all the way to the president.

How so? He shamed them and damn near half the country agreed. Not exactly my idea of a great success.

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Additional thoughts from thinking about this and reading here....

 

We can also note that dude is trying to make a living off a sport with an ongoing history of violence/degradation toward women, don't think he kneeled for that yet.

 

You can find sweatshops right here in the U.S. for whatever that's worth. 

 

The winner in this, unfortunately, is Nike, because this will ultimately help their revenue.  Unfortunately.

 

@Fist 666I see what you're saying re: indiviudal opinions and such, it's an interesting point.  On the other hand, freedom of speech does have limitations.  Even removing that, there is still a time and place for some things.  Even though it's sports, it's still business, big business, and he's on the clock for someone.  Where would you draw the line?  It would be a bit amusing if the receptionist at an abortion clinic wore a pro life t-shirt.  Too far?

 

These idiots destroying their nike wear.  You have to be fairly well off to burn $300 worth of sneakers, spoiled ass mofos.  Just give that shit to the homeless if you don't want it.

 

You guys think in the future we'll see Nike making a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, or some Nike Protest sneakers?  

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38 minutes ago, One Man Banned said:

You guys think in the future we'll see Nike making a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, or some Nike Protest sneakers?  

It just seems so short sighted of them. Business isn't politics. Why alienate half your potential customers to get some cheap temporary karma. BLM wont give a shit about this in a few months, some on the right might take much much longer to make peace with the stupid marketing stunt. Just seems so basic to me. Their stock price plunged the day they released that add...like why do that to yourself if you're in business to make MORE MONEY.

 

Do they think people that agree with those protests will buy twice the shoes to make up for the loss of half the potential customers? I highly doubt it.

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52 minutes ago, One Man Banned said:

It would be a bit amusing if the receptionist at an abortion clinic wore a pro life t-shirt.  

I was working as a fire alarm inspector back in 2006, basically going into buildings and spraying smoke detectors with a can of fake smoke to make sure they worked. Easy brainless work. One day I got an all day gig right next to Queensboro Plaza. I didn't know it at the time but it was an abortion clinic, I only noticed there was a disproportionate number of young females there.

 

So that morning as I'm in the elevator with my co worker, and this security guard assigned to escort us, so I asked him, "Hey man,  must be dope working here, so many females in this place, what kind of building is this? Is it a clinic?" Dude just responds "It's an abortion clinic" in a kind of monotone voice. Got kind of sour in the elevator after that, so I jokingly say" So at least you know they're all fucking right?" Pure comedy gold, perfect timing, but dude didn't even crack a smirk, and was completely unaffected.

 

His lack of humor fucked me up, like WTF man am I loosing it, that shit was pure gold. My co-worker got uncomfortable and stopped laughing, but later said he agreed it was hilarious, but I couldn't tell if he was just being nice.

 

Turns out, a few hours later we see the same guard working the front entrance, sitting at one of those tiny security guard desks. This dude literally had a bible out, and was flipping through the pages. Pretty obvious he wasn't so much reading, as he was making a statement. It was one of those fancy bibles, even had a bookmark with a cross hanging from the top. This miserable fuck went through all this trouble of advertising his disapproval all day, every day,  instead of just looking for another job.

Edited by Mercer
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Surprised to see frequent mention of BLM. Has anyone seen anything on the news about them, whatsoever, since the election ended? Anyone want to wager that they’ll again have a heavy presence (or someone just like them) leading to the next election?

 

Mind you, I’ve made no judgement, Pro or against that organization or their position(s), but let’s all be honest in how they’re clearly being leveraged / appropriated to bring in the black vote. 

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1 minute ago, Mercer said:

 This miserable fuck went through all this trouble of advertising his disapproval all day, every day,  instead of just looking for another job.

/ The End.

 

Instead, lets piss on ppl that frequent that establishment, bite the hand that feeds us and without an ounce of irony declare the country that allowed us to become rich is reprehensible. Great Job!

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3 minutes ago, misteraven said:

Surprised to see frequent mention of BLM. Has anyone seen anything on the news about them, whatsoever, since the election ended? Anyone want to wager that they’ll again have a heavy presence (or someone just like them) leading to the next election?

 

Mind you, I’ve made no judgement, Pro or against that organization or their position(s), but let’s all be honest in how they’re clearly being leveraged / appropriated to bring in the black vote. 

They're still around, most of the people who made names for themselves in that movement are moving into establishment based leftist positions in politics, and media.

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1 hour ago, Kults said:

How so? 

It brought the issue to the public fore and it into the living rooms of people who would not be considering it otherwise.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, morton said:

It brought the issue to the public fore and it into the living rooms of people who would not be considering it otherwise.

 

 

Decided to delete my previous comment. Im so over this debate anyway, its the reason I hardly browse reddit anymore. Im so over arguing over politics, its def not what I come to 12 oz for. I respect your opinion and thats the last Ill say on the issue.

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Thought this was pretty insightful as far as explaining the reasons behind Nike's strategy.

 

 

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