Just Do It: The NFL Backs Out Of Anthem Policy As Nike Takes A Knee With Kaepernick [Updated]

images-3The opening day has finally arrived for many of us who are football fans.  However, if there was hope to have a season without the highly divisive anthem controversy, those hopes were dashed as the NFL officially announced that it would go forward on its policy against protests during the anthem.  Further fueling the controversy will be Nike’s campaign featuring “Just Do It” ad, narrated by Colin Kaepernick. Nike is referencing Kaepenick’s stand as an example of courage despite the opposition of many football fans. I have previously written about the legal aspects of these protests.

Update:  The Dolphins led the protests today with players kneeling during the anthem.

It is fascinating to see a publicly traded company like Nike intentionally steer its products into a controversy that has reportedly cost the NFL so dearly.  Even if ten percent of its customers avoid Nike products, the cost would be huge unless the gamble succeeds in attracting newer, younger customers.  This is an unconventional and risky move in an field with close competitors which will not be associated with the protests. The move also likely alienates the NFL management, which hardly welcomes a national commercial campaign viewed as celebrating the protests.  Nike shares slide downward with its new campaign, though it is still unclear if the move will pay off. A promising indicator is a 30 percent jump in online sales for Nike after the start of the campaign.

For its part, the NFL has thrown up its hands and just said that they could not get people to agree.  Thus, this season could be like the last, though ESPN has decided to cut away from the anthem entirely while some networks have been previously accused of intentionally not showing the kneeling or fan objections to the protests. The NFL seems incapable of simply taking a stand with a single coherent position under Roger Goodell — one way or the other.  In so doing, it has remained exposed on all sides — rather than simply allow or disallow protests during the games.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to watching my newly revamped Bears go up against our historic rivals the Packers with the highest paid offensive player (Rodgers) going head to head with the highest paid defensive player (Mack).  Perhaps they will collide and simply merge into a single roughly $300 million player capable of playing entirely alone.

As usual, most of us are locked out of the games by the NFL’s ridiculous deal with DirectTV, which imposes a prohibitive cost on fans.  Unlike the MLB which offers games at a fair price, the NFL under Roger Goodell have made it prohibitively expensive for most fans to watch out of market games.  The owners are clearly supportive of Goodell’s record fleecing fans at every opportunity despite declining ratings.  Between the protests and continued abuse of fans, the NFL facing a a long-term problem in maintaining its base of support.  Every year I write about the short sighted treatment of streaming services and out-of-market packages.  If the NFL simply offered a more reasonable package for fans to watch just the 16 games of their chosen team (as does the MLB), it might actually see rising viewerships. Instead, the owners have conveyed nothing but contempt for the fans, including the renewal of the contract of the least popular Commissioner in the history of the sport.

171 thoughts on “Just Do It: The NFL Backs Out Of Anthem Policy As Nike Takes A Knee With Kaepernick [Updated]”

  1. I wonder if the #METOO movement will touch Kraperneck or is he exempt?


    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will not be charged for an April incident involving a woman at a hotel.

    “The key issue to really clarify, because a lot of people have been screwing this up are talking about charges being dropped. That’s untrue,” Ed Griffith, public information officer for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office, confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.

    “Charges were never filed. The woman came to the cops and said she may have been sexually assaulted. So that was viewed as a complaint. She made a complaint and there was basically no evidence that there was a sexual assault. The complaint was investigated and found to be unfounded.”

    San Francisco wideout Quinton Patton and Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette, who were also being investigated for the incident, also won’t be charged.
    I say: sounds like a flimsy charge but then again a lot of them have been weaker…. why not this guy take some heat too? media boss editors that’s why. celebrities: they make em and they break em.

      1. not likely it would have much effect either away, don’t kid yourself

        but yeah pretty much NIKE has screwed themselves on sales from half the electorate.

        lots of other good shoes out there need sales too

      2. You sound like a previous alias, full of hyperbole based on little knowledge. I don’t presume to know what will happen with any boycott. I don’t think the NAPO’s boycott will mean much but it might open doors for compeitors. Not everyone thinks the cops are pigs. That type of idea is limited to the stupid people.

        There is more than just sales. There is also their stock price. Investors shy away from risk.

    1. Nike is guilty of cultural appropriation. Nike was the Hellenic goddess of victory. They are not Greek therefore all Greeks and other people with cultural sensitivity should boycott Nike. How about that?

      Pretty much any reason would be good enough to boycott Nike including them using underpaid labor in China. Or how garbage-like their shoes have become of late.

      1. No need to fret about any of that, Mr. Kurtz because Nike’s clearly shown they’re serious about vastly improving their overall practices and image by teaming up with a great man of tremendous courage and integrity like Colin Kaepernick.
        If ALL companies sought to live up to his high standards the world could breath a giant sigh of relief.

        1. Kaepernick is no saint, this is pure BS. He’s treated some people like garbage on his way to stardom, I won’t elaborate, but he’s no saint. You guys are idiots for lionizing him.

            1. What’s impressive is that he’s made an exhibitionistic ass of himself in the service of a humbug cause.

            2. i have known quite a few football players and they are an arrogant lot, at least when they are in season. So his hubris is even more considerable. Seems to me, that he has only distinguished himself in that he is a pompous ass on an epic scale by comparison to nearly every other pro footballer in history.

              I also reject any comparison to Muhammad Ali, that is nonsense. He was a tremendous boxer, by contrast CC is nothing special as a footballer, and Ali’s
              conscientious objection cost him dearly. He didn’t make a million off of it.

              I also can have a lot more respect for the simple political sentiment that Ali expressed in his refusal of the service ( I aint got no fight with them viet congs, I think he said) than I can detect in the all the vague complaints and current theatrics.

              It’s just a big farce, whining about slavery from a century gone by, mostly just to reassure the segment of the black population that is not making millions, that these overpaid NFL blowhards are somehow doing something on behalf of the poor kids out there watching them. Fake!

              it’s the most patently false sort of ethnic activism I have ever seen and Nike’s attempt to monetize it is proof positive of how insincere it is.

              There are times when I wish leftists were still Marxists because at least then they would have some logical perspective informing their errors. Now they are mostly just dupes.

              The main thing to understand is that since CC can’t play football, he’s got to keep spinning this nonsense to justify his lavish lifestyle. Bottom line. And Nike is a corporation that thinks they can get in on the fraud and sell sneakers to people who don’t need them because of it. Pathetic!

                1. have fun getting a job as anything but an ugly yet famous model Colin

                  he is not very popular in the football circles. ‘

                  he’s a prima donna and the very type of it.

                  every coach from pee wee to NFL has added him to the mental list of “examples of a prima donna who is not a team player”

                  football is a team sport. there is no I in team. I I I that’s all what Kraperneck is all about. which makes him perfect to sell sneakers to a bunch of kids who are budding prima donnas and willind to drop senseless amounts on a brand.

                  Kraperneck is not the face of righteous protest, he is the face of predatory capitalist exploitation of the gullible, hand in hand with the CCP’s exploitation of the weak captive population of Chinese workers

                  here’s Kraperneck, protesting over supposed police brutality, selling sneakers made in a place that makes the alleged American police brutality pale by comparison.

                  and none of the leftists have a problem with it? sad, ridiculous theatre

                  well, they criticized Nike for a long time because of this, but Nike supposedly now has the best factories in China. Whoosh, the problem has been solved the news said a few years ago!

                  That’s like saying the best paid workers in the devil’s workshop.

                  1. “he’s a prima donna and the very type of it.”

                    I have another commercial for Nike. He wore socks that pictured the police as pigs, but during 911 those policemen and firemen rushed to the Twin towers to their own deaths to save the lives of the people that were dying. I think Nike could advertise that they have sneakers that give people the ability to run faster. They could use Kaepernick. They could show a picture of the police running toward the Twin Towers and Kaepernick in yellow Nike sneakers running as quickly away from the twin towers as possible.

              1. Awesome. Please keep posting materials. Just. Like. This. It reinforces my smug sense of self-superiority to see how utterly clueless the gullible rubes, dupes, klan-wannabees, pocket-traitors and grifters on the make actually are. It looks good on you though. Thanks for playing.

                this is to “I thunk sumbudy said sumtin ’bout slavery?” kurtzie

                1. Hello Defamer Mark M,

                  Do you retract your false statement that I did not care for rule of law?

                  Do you retract your false and defamatory statement that ” I watch hannity and bag his balls?”

                  Until you do there is no conversing, you are just a defamer and a slanderer and a liar

  2. It’s funny, well sick actually, why do people watch football? Is it because of the competition (haha), the commercials, the 5 minute break between plays, because they like supporting vastly overpaid players and teams, idol worship, hate for America ….

    1. Why is it that every time a person with real guts dares to hoist this country up to a higher level, stick-in-the-muds always try to twist their noble efforts and jerk us back down?

      1. If he had guts then he would have shown them the way a real smashmouth football hero does, and that’s physically on the field of play, and not let that go by the wayside being a prima donna. He’s pathetic! and now he’s not anywhere near a football, just a promoter, an advertiser not a political activist, get that straight.

    1. David Benson owes me nine citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after fifteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – So, is WSU going to do us all a favor and drop feetsball, thereby leaving the PAC-12?

  3. NFL “Refresher” NFL History…history not often reported or leaked to the ticket holders. I hope this helps you; it opened my eyes, to better understand when and why the public’s respect for the NFL organization started to crumble….

    * In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling before each game to pray, they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his eye-black to avoid glare, and made him take it off.

    * In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.

    * In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said “Know Jesus Know Peace” but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.

    * In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing “Find the Cure” eye black for breast cancer awareness.

    * In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence. (Not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem…).

    *In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.

    * 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

    So tell me again how the NFL supports free speech and expression. It seems quite clear based on these facts that the NFL has taken a position against any action by NFL players demonstrating RESPECT for any issue: For God, social causes such as mental health, cancer, domestic violence, for cops killed arbitrarily for being cops, or for the Memory of 9/11…

    BUT they will allow demonstrations of DISRESPECT for our National Flag, our National Anthem, for America , and for the American People, if it will help mollify a particular Group and its supporters. That is who and what the NFL now has shown itself to be.

    Pass this post along to all your friends and family, if you believe it worthy of sharing.
    Honor our military; too many of whom have come home with the American Flag draped over their coffin.

    1. Thank you Nancy for the list.

      Does that list make a difference to the left? Absolutely not. Their idea of free speech only applies to those that agree with them. They would be quite comfortable in a dictatorship.

    2. Nancy’s complaint about Kaepernick kneeling would make sense if kneeling was in any way a sign of disrespect.
      Keep in mind that it was a military Veteran who told him that kneeling was a respectful way to draw attention to actions that we all should reflect on.
      You know how to show respect for our Troops? Stop allowing Oil Barons to profit from snidely misusing their bravery and playing chess with their lives.

      1. oh please. this is about sneakers. made in Chinese sweatshops, a country with the worst labor practices in the world. which affiliates itself with the complaints of a segment of the population that shouldn’t be spending $200 on a pair of nikes in the first place.

        how does this relate to oil?> not at all but you had to pull a stinking red herring out of your bag for us all to smell.

    3. Ridiculous straw-man babble; but I’m sure the others like you: the gullible rubes, dupes, klan-wannabees, pocket-traitors and grifters on the make will lap it up; just like Kool Aid at Jonestown. First, the players are not disrespecting the flag, our national anthem, America, the military, soldiers, or the American people. Second, America is a nation firmly founded on protest: Boston Tea Party anyone? It’s ingrained an our American psyche, we are expected to seek out redress of grievances, speak truth to power, protest injustice, and advocate for those who don’t have a voice. Many gave all to preserve our great experiment which sanctifies that truth. That’s the “Real America.” Unfortunately for you, your ilk, and the screeching shills on Pravda Faux News, your collective warped incomprehension of this fact just leaves you standing outside looking in. So sorry for your loss.

      this is to “and don’t ya know most of ’em are dem black fellers, too” nancy

      1. I am also not what else you say and have said repeatedly:

        “…like you: the gullible rubes, dupes, klan-wannabees, pocket-traitors and grifters on the make will lap it up; just like Kool Aid at Jonestown.”

        Defamer, you should be banned

      2. another false quote. Defamer, liar.

        Object and you should be banned for defaming other users and making up false quotes

        1. You are quite capable of choosing your own jacket to wear. Your remedy is simple, and completely within your control: don’t put on the jacket of a gullible rubes, dupe, klan-wannabee, pocket-traitor or grifter on the make, and you won’t be identified as such. Easy peazy.

          this is to “Ya, I like my traitors, fat, stupid, and white–but with an orange tinge” kurtzie

        1. Mark M is a habitual, despicable slanderer. i read a lot of things from people i disagree with who do not cast such false and malicious names and often fabricating false quotes. he should be IP banned post haste. it’s very rude and defamatory.

          he is pretty much the only user here who is such an awful, lying, fabricating, insulting defamer.

        2. Thank you for outing yourself. What flavor was that Kool Aid?

          this is to “it’s quite sweet, but has an unusual aftertaste” allan / allen

          1. Outing myself Mark? It is more like you have been outed. You made a fool of yourself before and now you make a fool of yourself again. Maybe you should join Kaepernick in wearing Nike’s pictured running away from the twin towers while both of you wear your yellow socks that depict cops as pigs. The cops ran toward the Twin Towers to save lives. You and Kaepernick ran away pushing woman and children down as you fled.

      3. Marky Mark Mark – there is a difference between a third-string back up quarterback taking a knee for a cause he cannot articulate to save his job and people willing to put their lives on the line for a cause they can articulate. R. Lien still hasn’t appeared for our duel in the Sun. Evidently, talk is cheap.

        1. What duel, PCS?

          You live in a fantasy world of misbegotten claims and grudges.

          I’ll say it again: you are a fool.

          1. R. Lien – you candy-ass. I challenged you to a duel and since then you have semi-disappeared. Not that we mind. You can apologize for calling me an anti-Semite or you can back up what you said with you body.

  4. A couple of weeks ago Obama was going door to door on Martha’s Vinyard. I don’t think these were ” Typical White People”. Rich white peoples lives matter. He’s nothing more than a hypocrite that’s been enabled by the liberal left wing establishment.

  5. Slapstick wasn’t cut from his team. He walked away from a contract that would have paid him more in one year than many African-Americans make in their entire lives. You don’t get paid a first string salary for a second string performance

    1. oh its a lot more complicated than that, but it doesn’t matter, he’s washed up now for sure

      football is a hard game. modeling for cameras is a lot easier. he got a peter principle promotion, basically, to clear his selfish prima donna butt of the field for good. i am sure football breathes a sigh of relief that he has given up on playing now, evidently

    1. So brave, so sacrificial, so dumb. Fighting a problem that countless petit and grand juries prove doesn’t exist except in the minds of the activists hellbent to destroy the country’s unity.

  6. “The opening day has finally arrived for many of us who are football fans.”

    Well, if the ratings are any indicator those football fans who care more to indulge their Mitty-esque fantasies than respect the national anthem are in a decided slide. Ratings down 14% percent from last year’s opener that was down double digits from the year before which happily was down from the prior year. Boola-boola away as the fires burn. I hear the Romans loved a good chariot race run to the tunes of Nero’s fiddle.

    1. Kneeling is the least of football’s problems. If the NFL had any forethought they’d honor Kaepernick’s stoic determination because it’s a long-overdue sign that humanity’s evolving.

        1. Anonymous – I have had long conversations with my alumi office since ASU both changed the look of Sparky and then took him off the helmets of the football players. I have informed the association they get nothing from me until Sparky is returned to the helmet. They lied to me and tried to pretend that Sparky was still on the back of the helmet. However, now that I have a 70″ tv, I can see the back of the helmet and Sparky is not there. I will still faithfully follow the team and I only buy gear with the old Sparky on it, they are not getting either my money or my theatre collection until Sparky is restored to his rightful place in the universe.

  7. As long as the money comes in customer complaints do not matter as much. Don’t like a company’s behavior? Don’t give them money.

    1. Completely agree…I just think it’s bad business. We’ll just have to wait and see.


    From a visual standpoint, that one-knee kneel looks perfectly respectful. If one was visiting from China, and had no prior knowledge of the protests, that one-knee kneel wouldn’t look rebellious.

    Personally I think the original thrust of the protests, police brutality, was too broad to sustain for any length of time. As I noted earlier, the protests would have fizzled halfway into last season had Trump not involved himself.

    1. It’s a protest during the National Anthem…that’s the issue. Yes, if they were collectively grabbing their genitalia, then that would be worse.

    2. Police brutality is not the problem facing the black community. That’s why they’re losing traction. They’ve failed to make any sort of coherent argument that can be debated. They are football players after all…not the brightest bunch. Exactly like the celebrities in Hollywood or the clowns in the media. All rage, no reason.

      1. There’s nothing particularly “bright” about naively defending a song that was written by a coddled wimp as a quivering tribute to bloodshed and the continuation of slavery.
        The “Star-Spangled Banner should be replaced by “America the Beautiful” and trigger-happy bigots with billy clubs and tasers should be scrubbed from the face of the earth. Problem solved.


      From a visual standpoint, that one-knee kneel looks perfectly respectful. If one was visiting from China, and had no prior knowledge of the protests, that one-knee kneel wouldn’t look rebellious.”

      Peter, if that were done under the visual eye of X in China and Kaepernich was a Chinese citizeni, Kaepernick would possibly be in jail and there certainly would be no contract. He had a right to do what he did and his employers had a right to fire him. He wore socks depicting the police as pigs. Kaepernick is a pig and the NFL is cowardly. We have soldiers who died on the field for the flag and nation. That type of disrespect though legal shouldn’t be awarded. Neigther shoud his socks. You lack any class what so ever.

  9. Why should anyone listen to a blogger that can’t fill out a simple form below so at least he has a steady alias to distinguish himself from anyone whose name is unknowning wiped out of the system?

    I couldn’t get much out of your comment on crony capitalism but maybe that goes along with your inability to fill that form out with an alias.

    As far as Ed Schultz’s death not getting the attention you believe he should have been given perhaps you should ask and blame MSNBC and Hillary Clinton

    1. MSNBC and their precious Hillary are two of my favorite targets, Al.

      And an alias by any other name is still an alias.

  10. I don’t know if any of you have boys of high school age or not, but the sneaker trade and subsequent releases of new Jordon’s are in a subculture which I think is quite immune to politics. Kids in high school of the sneaker trade wear a crappy pair of kicks to school while carrying their newly released Jordans to then put them on while within the building. They don’t give a rats ass about the national anthem.
    Nike will loose nothing but old farts who buy 2-3 pairs…a decade.

    1. not immune from the politics of this stunt, actually, it was a clever way of targeting them.

      you’re right, old white farts like me will never buy them again. but i bought a pair two years ago and they are still fine.

      it’s the old white farts who manage sales to the underemployed black youth who will really bank this stunt. clever capitalists, it has nothing to do with protest. everything is monetized now, make no mistake

  11. I was in a Nike Outlet on Friday near Disney World, typically visited by tourists. It was three in the afternoon and it was packed as usual. I go there to shop because it’s one of the few places I can normally get shoes my size without ordering on-line. The Outlet Mall has stores for Reebok, Adidas, New Balance, Sketchers and more but Nike by far was doing more business. They didn’t seem to be hurting any for business.

  12. There’s no point in getting dewy-eyed over an old ditty that’s just an ode to bloodshed and the continuation of slavery.

    1. George, when the federal government renames I-40 the Trail of Tears National Memorial Highway.

      1. “Trail of Tears?”

        How does one abuse Indians who were nomadic by forcing them to travel? Indians, who were native to Asia, traveled around the Alaskan Land Bridge eons ago. Were there tears on that trail? Indians fought Americans. Indians didn’t want to BE Americans, they wanted to KILL Americans. Indians illegally invaded this continent long before America was a twinkle in George Washington’s eye. Indians could not possibly be native or American. Native American is an oxymoronic contradiction in terms and complete politically correct absurdity – incoherence and hysteria.

        I am forced to believe that America has become incoherent and hysterical since adoption of the unconstitutional 19th amendment. Like prohibition, it’s long past time to reacquire national sanity; national rationality and composure, and repeal the 19th.

  13. I don’t know which is more disrespectful.
    Someone taking a knee during the national anthem or letting some hack job of a singer slaughter the actual song itself in front of thousands let alone on national television.

    1. Nothing’s more disrespectful to God, country, and humanity than standing for a racist inspired song that the NFL is paid under the table to force the players to promote.
      It should be hacked to bits and replaced by James Brown’s iconic “Living in America”!

      1. i mean i hate the bad singers. I like the star spangled banner, I don’t care if it’s supposedly racist. most national anthems are racist, or at least nationalist, hello, that’s why they exist. look them up. just don’t let a hack destroy the music.

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