Midlothian, TX - "American Sniper" widow, Taya Kyle, has responded to the new Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.
Nike's new ad campaign features Kaepernick with the words "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."
Kaepernick's "sacrifice" is an apparent reference to the former NFL player's inability to get re-hired after voluntarily quitting the NFL.
The "believe in something," is an apparent reference to Kaepernick calling police officers murderers, and kneeling in protest to the American flag.
Kyle's response takes issue with the "sacrifice everything" part of the campaign:
"Nike, I love your gear, but you exhaust my spirit on this one. Your new ad with Colin Kapernick, I get the message, but that sacrificing everything thing…. It just doesn’t play out here. Sacrificing what exactly? A career? I’ve done that both times I chose to stay home and be with my kids instead of continuing my business climb… and it wasn’t sacrificing everything. It was sacrificing one career and some money and it was because of what I believe in and more importantly, who I believe in.
"At best, that is all Colin sacrificed… some money and it’s debatable if he really lost his career over it. Maybe he sacrificed the respect of some people while he gained the respect of others. Or maybe he used one career to springboard himself into a different career when the first was waning. I don’t know. What I do know is, he gained popularity and magazine covers he likely wouldn’t have gotten without getting on his knees or as you say, “believing in something.” I’m also thinking the irony is that while I am not privy to the numbers, it’s likely he gained a lucrative Nike contract. So yeah… that whole “sacrificing everything” is insulting to those who really have sacrificed everything."
Kyle went on to name Pat Tillman as somebody in the NFL who sacrificed everything.
Tillman was a successful player in the NFL when the September 11 terror attack occurred in 2001. He turned down a new $3.6 million contract to enlist in the U.S. Army.
During a deployment to Afghanistan in April 2004, Tillman was fatally shot. It was initially reported that he was shot by enemy combatants. After his funeral, a Department of Defense investigation revealed that he was killed by friendly fire.
Kyle went on to make mention of all other warriors who sacrificed everything, who also sacrificed the lives of their loved ones "who will never be the same." She then laid it all out for Nike:
"Taking a stand, or rather a knee, against the flag which has covered the caskets of so many who actually did sacrifice everything for something they believe in, that we all believe in? Well, the irony of your ad..it almost leaves me speechless. Were you trying to be insulting?
"Maybe you are banking on the fact we won’t take the time to see your lack of judgement in using words that just don’t fit. Maybe you are also banking on us not seeing Nike as kneeling before the flag. Or maybe you want us to see you exactly that way. I don’t know. All I know is, I was actually in the market for some new kicks and at least for now, I’ve never been more grateful for Under Armour."
“The choice of Colin Kaepernick by Nike to be 'the Face' of their 30th Anniversary Campaign is an affront to every American law enforcement officer," Blue Lives Matter's National Spokesman, Randy Sutton said.
"Nike’s pandering to Kaepernick’s brand of politically correct hate mongering against those who serve this Nation behind a badge and the disrespect he has sown to the symbols of love of our country reveals how corrupt Nike has become," Sutton added. "When an organization is more concerned with profits than with the values of justice and service that thousands have given their lives to preserve, they reveal what they truly stand for....greed and dishonor.”
As an organization, Blue Lives Matter tends to avoid calling for boycotts. A company needs to do something exceptional to prompt a boycott call from Blue Lives Matter.
Blue Lives Matter has previously called for only one other boycott, in response to Ben & Jerry's marketing campaign promoting the false narrative of Black Lives Matter.
Police officers are actually getting assassinated over this false, anti-police messaging. When companies push the outrageous message that police are targeting black people for violence, they are putting officers' lives at risk to boost their profits.
By showing these companies that they'll only lose money by defaming police officers, we take away the financial incentive for these marketing campaigns.
Kaepernick started kneeling on the field during the National Anthem in the pre-season of 2016, protesting the flag over allegations that American police officers are racist killers.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick even sported socks depicting police officers as pigs along with his Nike shoes.
The protest later expanded even further to be a protest of President Donald Trump by some after the president spoke out against the protest.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after the 2016 season and sat out the 2017 NFL season when no other teams signed him.
His teammate Eric Reid was a vocal supporter of the anthem protests. Reid also didn't sign again with the 49ers, and became a free agent.
Both players have since been unemployed and have filed a lawsuit against the NFL alleging a conspiracy to keep them out of the game in retaliation for the upheaval caused by the kneeling.