NIKE has taken a divisive stance in their latest ad featuring a black and white photo of Colin Kaepernick with the words, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Last year Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers because he couldn’t take the heat from kneeling during the national anthem. At the time, I couldn’t quite understand why Americans were so upset. The conservative media was making this about an assault on the military when the protest was over racial injustice—something we all should get behind fighting.
By kneeling, Kaepernick said that he will not stand for a country that does not honor the values it claims to espouse. Meanwhile, people in the military know the country is not perfect, but they’re willing to die for their dream of what America should be anyways. Change does not happen overnight, and idealists know the process of sanctification is continual. The difference between Marxists and idealists, however, is that we are not self-hating over our own shortcomings. And for Christians, we accept Christ’s grace to get up and try infinitely. Meanwhile, the leftist solution to motivate you to fix your problems is to stick a gun to your head and scream “Get up!” miserably living life against your will.
I’ll never forget learning in my class on the government of China that Mao ZeDong’s goal was to perform an endless revolution for social justice. Is that what’s happening in America? These days everybody’s got a soapbox for something and I can’t take a single class without it relating in some way to social justice. Meanwhile, depression and anxiety rates are skyrocketing, but they wonder why living for the fight instead of fighting for peace is unsustainable.
As role models, public figures have a duty to encourage fans by dreaming big, not projecting apocalyptic nightmares. As Saint Josemaria Escriva says, “A saint! A Son of God should exaggerate in practicing virtue…if exaggeration is possible here. Because other people will see themselves reflected in him as a mirror, and it is only by our aiming very high that others will reach a middling level.”
If instead we attack our own progress and trudge ahead self-hating, how can we ever motivate ourselves if we will never be perfect? Imagine what that would do to your kids if you attacked every little thing they did wrong without ever praising them? Conversely, what would happen if you said they never did anything wrong?
In an op-ed condemning right-wing outrage, LZ Granderson, co-host of ESPN’s SportsNation, attempts to paint conservatives as hypocrites for supporting President Trump—who once diminished the military accomplishments of John McCain—while simultaneously condemning Kaepernick.
But conservatives never turned a blind eye when Trump did it, and in fact, Granderson includes that fact in his own article.
“The American Legion’s national commander urged him to “make an appropriate presidential proclamation, noting Senator McCain’s death and legacy of service to our nation,” Granderson wrote.
The pressure was so strong Trump later walked back his statement on McCain for the sake of retaining his popularity. We were consistent then and we are consistent now.
Who might be a suitable replacement for this ad? Try Pat Tillman, the late Arizona Cardinals player who left his NFL career to enlist in the military after September 11. He died of friendly fire in Afghanistan three years later.
Granderson realizes this, yet states picking Kaepernick over Tillman “is just what we do when debate is a centerpiece of popular culture.” That might make sense if NIKE shares didn’t fall after the ad, but reading further you’ll realize he’s just another self-hating Marxist.
“It reminds me of the way some Catholics are very protective of unborn children but turn a blind eye to the pedophiles in the church who systemically exploit young parishioners,” Granderson writes. “So, those who use images of fallen heroes under the guise of respecting the military should probably do an audit of their allegiances, just to make sure their reasoning adds up.”
First of all, relating this back to the Catholic Church is entirely unnecessary yet exposes his own disdain for religion. Second of all, nobody who is Catholic should have to publicly state they condemn systemic issues in the Church because it is literally listed as a sin in our doctrine. This borderlines on hateful prejudice, and the fact CNN published this really doesn’t surprise me anymore.
The scary part is considering NIKEs target demographic is my age group, Marxist sports fans may use this to gain a larger foothold in game culture, encouraging more and more of this type of thinking. If that happens we are in for a dark future, but the light of Christ can never burn out.