Today when I logged into my social media platform, across the board — Linkedin, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and even on Whatsapp, I noticed comments, thoughts & posts about Nike’s controversial advertisement & about Colin Kaepernick role in the National Anthem protest.
In fact, when I searched online the trending words were:
- Controversial Advertisement
- Colin Kaepernick
- Donald Trump
Almost immediately, I clicked on the news to check what it was all about.
To put it in a nutshell:
- Colin Kaepernick, aged 30, is an American Football Quarterback who protested against racial injustice & police brutality by kneeling during the US National Anthem
- Nike signed him up as their poster boy stating he was “one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation”.
- No sooner this news was made public — the opponents to this movement took to social media promising to destroy NIKE products.
So now what is the problem?
I want you to look at these images.
Now my question to you is this….
- Do you seriously think NIKE is a Charitable company that is concerned about world peace, equal distribution of wealth, eliminating hunger & providing drinking water to the masses?
Nike is a business organization whose ONLY focus is to make money, keep the share holders happy and ensure its brand grows
- Do you think NIKE created this advertisement for the benefit of mankind?
So then the question is WHY did NIKE create this advertisement?
Look at what happened online right now….
At this very moment millions of people around the world are texting, tweeting, sharing — images, posts & opinions about NIKE’s business decision to sign up Colin Kaepernick as their Brand Ambassador. And because of this NIKE has received BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF FREE ADVERTISEMENT.
Think about it.
Without spending a lot of money — just by
- Capitalizing on human emotions
- Being smart about how they play with words
- Knowing what buttons to press
- Playing it safe by appealing to a market segment
They have not only made people talk about them — they have made people fight for them.
Have you thought about this….
- Hundreds of thousands of people will now buy NIKE shoes to show their support to NIKE
- People who have already used & purchased NIKE shoes will either destroy the shoes OR some of them will give them away — thus making new fans of NIKE shoes
- Millions will talk, argue, fight, debate and engage with the movement — thus making the brand NIKE super relevant
What I find ABSOLUTELY ILLOGICAL IS….
- What is the point of destroying good quality shoes, clothes & gear AFTER you have paid money for it?
- Why destroy a piece of useful material when it can serve a purpose?
- How does destroying something AFTER you have purchased it negatively impact the company?
And then the biggest reason of them all….If you really want to get rid of the NIKE products — which are seriously of high quality, which are expensive and which are useful….
- Why don’t you donate this to someone who is poor?
- Why don’t you give it to someone, some child, some adult, some old person who is on the streets or who has never seen a pair of NIKE?
- Why don’t you give it to some charitable endeavor or institution or ship it to some third world country where having a shoes, shirt or gear like this is a dream come true?
Why destroy something that can serve a purpose?
Who does this benefit or harm?
What sense does it make destroying something that can benefit another human being on this planet?
The problem with our human race is that there are tons of people out there who ASSUME they are smart and intelligent but in reality are the manifestation of Dumb & Dumber.
When I see the impulsive acts of anger, of retribution and of protests by these people who have the money to buy good things in life but then destroy them out of their selfish agendas, it leaves me to nod my head in shame.
Seriously — what is gone wrong with our planet?
Please educate me….
- WHAT IS WRONG? WHAT IS RIGHT?
What’s wrong if a person bows down, stands or kneels when a National Anthem is being played? If it is not a rule that can be enforced as something “illegal” explicitly then I do not see a problem. And if doing anything else other than standing (kneeling/bowing down) is a criminal offense — then please ensure the person gets imprisoned by calling the cops. IF however, this has not been mentioned or stated — it is just YOUR OPINION which can be wrong.
- FREEDOM TO EXPRESS — REALLY?
America is “supposed” to be the land where they uphold a person’s freedom to express. But lately — it has become the cesspool of restrictions, where dominant websites suppress or even ban those who speak anything that is against their thinking and worse a country now whose people believe in bullying others from expressing their opinions. Is this what we are come down to?
- DON’T HURT MY FEELINGS — REALLY?
Today you can say something and if it hurts someone’s feelings — it can be classified as hate speech or speech that is dangerous or violent. And that in turn can get the person banned. If this is the case — then what makes any so called modern country no better than one of those extremist regimes where they ban any other opinion other than the popular ones?
- A GENERATION OF IDIOTS
Today you have bizarre and strange concepts where if a person “feels” something — you must respect his feelings. So that in turn has resulted from having a ‘he’ and ‘she’ pronoun to having more than 31 different pronouns from Zee, Zir, Xe, Hir, Co, Ey. Oh did I also mention that you need to call the person in the pronoun of their choice or else you are violating their “personal freedom” (or something like that). And did I also mention you have people who are gender fluid — they can be male right now but in 2 hours they can become female because they “felt the change” to female
And last if not the least…..
- SOCIAL MEDIA VERSUS COMMON SENSE
Donald Trump got billions of dollars of FREE advertisement by giving his opinion about Muslims & Islam. It is something NO SINGLE POLITICAL CANDIDATE had done before. In fact, if you use common sense you will realize, Donald Trump NEVER had problems with the Muslims before. You don’t have to believe me — just google it. Check how many properties, business deals & projects he had in Dubai, Qatar & the Oil Rich countries where properties with his name were booming.
Do you seriously believe that he hates them?
My dear — he is a businessman and a very intelligent one at it. He knows what he is doing and he knows how to play with people’s minds, hearts, emotions & feelings to get what he wants. And you do not need any greater evidence than the fact he became the POTUS.
Next you had the #metoo movement — which started off as something truly commendable…. and now has gotten itself into the gutter.
And now you have NIKE following the same path.
Throughout my life I have realized one singular truth — there will always be someone out there with whom I will disagree, with whom I will face the risk of hurting (in terms of feelings) or being hurt and with whom I may not look eye to eye on various situations. And I know this more than anyone else as I am Atheist, who dropped out of school, who broke off from his family, marriage, society, religion and country and who today lives all alone in a forest. Oh and did I tell you I have completely tattooed myself? Given that I was born into a Conservative, Catholic, Traditional South Indian family — I know this more than anyone else.
However, that doesn’t mean I am right or you are right. Rather what it does mean is that there will always be differences of opinion and ideas. And we need to allow these ideas, opinions & voices be heard, debated, disputed & disagreed with. But not in a violent manner or in the manner that is hurtful, harmful or destructive to society.
I strongly believe that what I may say may hurt you and what you may believe or say may hurt me — but this is the risk we have to take. If we base our reality through our feelings — our world is going to be one horrible, terrible and miserable place.
Right now we are witnessing so many people react in a rather illogical manner by destroying products — that too good products — which can be used for the benefit of others.
Fine — you want to protest against NIKE — go ahead. You have the absolute right and the freedom to do so. And I respect it. But please — stop for a moment and think what you are doing — ask yourself logically — does destroying something that you purchased, that can help someone, that can prove useful to a young man, a child or an old person who is less fortunate than you are — does it help anyone?
I for one don’t think so.
You see — I came from a life of abject poverty and simplicity where having an expensive pair of shoes was a dream come true. And this dream of having my own pair of branded shoes only happened after I was 27 years old. Because I was able to afford one with my own money. I came from that world. So I know how much of a blessing it is to have such luxuries in life. And how much it would mean to someone who can never afford such blessings.
So my request to anyone who is angry against NIKE, who hates NIKE’s new advertisement or NIKE’s brand strategy — I totally support your anger, hatred and rage against them. I absolutely support your right to protest against them. But my plea to you is simply this — instead of burning those shoes, those shirts, those shorts and that gear — please make it a point to donate it some poor, unfortunate or kind soul out there for whom this useless pair or the pair you now hate — can bless them and change their life forever.
Instead of using our powers to do harm or to do nothing — I request you — please use this opportunity to do some good. Maybe then your protest, your anger and your rage will truly be justified and have some depth to it.
Remember my friend — when its comes to doing good….always
Just do it.