Friday, February 23, 2024

WATCHDOG: Cowardly Nike CEO Should Resign, Let Kaepernick Take Charge

It’s clear to me that Kaepernick is running the show to align Nike with a very niche cop-hating, anti-American clientele…’

A Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick hangs over Union Square in San Francisco. / IMAGE: ABC7 News Bay Area via Youtube

(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A pro-capitalist, libertarian corporate watchdog tried calling Nike to task at a recent shareholder meeting, then demanded its CEO step down in favor of the apparel giant’s true leader: Colin Kaepernick.

Unfortunately, the company known for individualist slogans like “Just Do It” and “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” was none too keen on hearing an opposing viewpoint.

Justin Danhof, who directs the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research, is known for forcing the top brass at virtue-signaling, left-leaning companies out of their comfort zones.

His planned confrontation with Nike CEO Mark Parker at its Oregon meeting on Thursday was the 30th such shareholder meeting the FEP has attended this year, according to a press release.

Since so many of Nike’s recent decisions have harmed the company’s reputation with conservative and patriotic Americans, Danhof planned to offer the company a way to repair this fractured relationship as well as benefit Nike’s shareholders,” said the release.

“However, Nike refused to allow Danhof to speak,” it said.

Danhof intended to criticize Nike over its decision, shortly before Independence Day, to discontinue a special-edition line of shoes that featured the original “Betsy Ross” flag with stars representing the original 13 colonies.

Kaepernick—the controversial pitchman whose NFL career as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback fizzled amid backlash over his kneeling during the national anthem—stepped in to demand that the shoes be pulled over the flag’s ‘racist’ connotations due to the colonies’ support of slavery.

“Your compliance with Kaepernick’s historical revisionism has further muddled your moral authority,” Danhof wrote, addressing Parker in a question that Nike forced him to submit in advance.

Justin Danhof poses during the Nike shareholder meeting in September 2019. / PHOTO: Free Enterprise Project

Wearing an “Stand Up for Betsy Ross” T-shirt issued by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, Danhof planned to call on Nike to return the shoes to shelves.

“The sales from Rush’s shirt prove that there is a strong market for such patriotic items,” he wrote in the question. “If Nike were to re-issue the Betsy Ross shoe, this would go a long way toward repairing your reputation—and the company would likely sell a lot of shoes as well.”

After intercepting his question, though, Nike pared it down to a single sentence that would cast the brand in its best light, devoid of its original context and purpose: Why did you pull the Betsy Ross shoe from sale over the Fourth of July?

Danhof said the Nike CEO’s response was equally watered-down.

Y’know we… I’ll just give a simple answer… We saw many people raising concerns and we made the decision to halt the distribution, and we didn’t want to unintentionally offend or detract from the Fourth of July holiday,” Parker said. “And that’s simply the reason that we made that decision.”

Danhof responded in FEP’s press statement by calling on Parker to step aside and let its chief signal-caller, Kaepernick, officially take the reins.

Today Parker showed as much disdain for Nike investors as the company regularly shows toward conservatives,” he said. “It’s clear to me that Kaepernick is running the show to align Nike with a very niche cop-hating, anti-American clientele.”

Danhof said he questioned the Nike staffers as to how his question got revised and was initially stonewalled. They later acknowledged that Parker himself did it.

Parker clearly doesn’t have the courage of his convictions,” Danhof said. “A CEO who can’t handle a few tough investor questions one time a year at the annual meeting doesn’t deserve the job.”

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