In opposition to Nike’s latest ad campaign championing former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s social justice activism against police, the New Jersey public pension fund is considering divesting from Nike.
“The group which manages and oversees the public worker pension fund for the state of New Jersey, is responding to a request from a constituent representing police and fire personnel to review their investments with Nike,” Breitbart News reported. “The request comes in light of the athletic apparel giant’s decision to make Colin Kaepernick the face of their new ad campaign.”
Face of defiance and anti-Americanism
Nike’s ad features an extreme close-up of Kaepernick’s face, over which reads the slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The athletic gear giant renegotiated a multi-year deal with the former NFL star to make him the face of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
The ex-National Football League player remains unsigned years after his 2016 season demonstrations of kneeling during pregame national anthems in defiance to law enforcement, America, the flag and what it represents.
Don’t disrespect those who serve
Marty Barret – who represents retired law enforcement officers and firefighters in New Jersey – is upset with Nike over its move, urging the council overseeing the Garden State’s $77 billion public worker pension fund to scrap its holdings with America’s premier sports gear company after it decided to celebrate and endorse Kaepernick’s anti-American message.
“Nike’s use of the sports figure – whose protests of police brutality during the national anthem drew controversy – has triggered boycotts of the brand,” NJ.com reported.
The police and fireman representative contended that Kaepernick’s sideline antics and off-the-field social justice campaign disrespects members of the United States Armed Forces and first responders who were killed by the Islamic terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001 – as the ad campaign launched within days of the tragic event’s 17th anniversary.
“[Nike] made one of the worst business decisions of all time [by making Kaepernick the face of its ad campaign],” Barrett asserted, according to NJ.com.
Tens of millions of dollars going to the sports outfitter is at stake in New Jersey with the recent divestment request, and this could be a continuing trend with several other states, as well.
“The State Investment Council voted unanimously to review its holdings – which a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department said include 311,500 equity shares valued at $26 million and 20 million principal valued at $18 million,” NJ Advance Media’s (NJ.com) Samantha Marcus pointed out. “According to Bloomberg, four other public pension funds in Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio and Oregon manage police pensions and own Nike stock.”
New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan indicated that he had no knowledge of Barrett’s request, but agreed that he would rather stay out of politics – as opposed to what Nike just did through its new contract with Kaepernick – when it comes to pensions.
“[I am reticent to] involve politics in pension investments,” Colligan told NJ.com. “I have been adamant – even when the governor chose to become more socially conscious with some of the investments – that I’m not sure we should be in the social justice business when we’re investing in pensions, with the vast deficiencies and unfunded liabilities that we have in all the systems.”
However, the traditionally blue state of New Jersey has recently shown its support for leftist politics by divesting in businesses that oppose gun control and pro-immigration reform.
“In recent months, the state has dumped investments in a company manufacturing semi-automatic rifles and a private prison contractor that runs family detention centers amid increased scrutiny of the Trump administration’s immigration policy,” Marcus noted.
Not missing Kaepernick in Mississippi
Also in opposition to the Kaepernick ad campaign, Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher announced a couple weeks ago that state police will no longer purchase Nike products due to the company’s unpatriotic move that he says detracts from Americans’ support of those in uniform.
“As commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, I will not support vendors who do not support law enforcement and our military,” Fisher told The Associated Press (AP) on September 15.
The extent to which police will refrain from buying Nike products was not disclosed at the time.
“It isn’t immediately clear how much gear the state police agency buys from Nike – or if it purchases directly from the athletic apparel maker,” AP’s Jeff Amy informed. “Department spokesman Warren Strain said the department has bought shoes and shirts from the company, as well as tactical training uniforms.”
Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.) and other social conservatives in his party applauded the commissioner’s move against Nike.
“I support the commissioner’s decision,” Bryant expressed in a statement, according to AP. “[It is the commissioner’s right to determine which vendors his department does business with,] and it’s not going to be a company that pays an individual who has slandered our fine men and women in law enforcement.”
However, the ultra-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Mississippi chapter and Democratic state lawmakers are deriding Fisher’s divestment decision.
“These are the people that are representing all Mississippians,” the state’s ACLU chapter asserted in a statement posted on Twitter earlier this month. “These are the people that are creating policy that impact all of our lives. These are the people that took an oath to uphold the Constitution, yet they refuse to understand what equality, justice and accountability means. This petty decision is just another show of racism, discrimination, stupidity, inequity and divisive politics.”
Those on the other side of the political spectrum in Mississippi see Kaepernick as anything but an American hero or icon who youth should seek to emulate.
“Other Republican politicians in Mississippi appear to see political advantage in excoriating Nike, though,” Amy noted.
“The campaign of Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves – who plans to run for governor in 2019 – sent out a statement Wednesday saying Kaepernick’s acts are not a sacrifice – though that’s how the Nike ad describes them.”
Reeves fervently believes that Nike and Kaepernick are setting a bad example that discourages Americans from being role model and patriotic citizens.
“By supporting the NFL protests, Nike is making it clear that they would rather stand with those who show contempt for our country over those who defend it,” Reeves explained, according to AP.
Easy decision in the Big Easy
A couple of weeks before Mississippi law enforcement decided to pull its business from Nike, a city leader in the metropolitan area of New Orleans, Louisiana, took a stand against Nike, as well.
“[T]he mayor of a New Orleans suburb rescinded an order, saying Nike products couldn’t be bought for city recreation facilities – or even by booster clubs using the facilities,” Amy informed in mid-September.
Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn (R-La.) announced this month that his city was rescinding its order from Nike – right away.
“[Nike’s deal with Kaepernick] divided our city and placed Kenner in a false and unflattering light on the national stage,” Zahn insisted on September 12, according to AP.
A handful of social justice activists in the Big Easy – including some on the New Orleans Saints – took to the streets to demonstrate against the decision by Kenner’s mayor to divest from Nike.
“The order prompted a protest Monday that include three members of the New Orleans Saints football team and hundreds of others,” Amy informed.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.