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Colin Kaepernick is living the new American dream



Colin Kaepernick is living the new American dream

NFL free agent quarterback and originator of the anti-American kneeling movement Colin Kaepernick just signed a “star” contract with Nike to be the face of their 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign. As a “star” for Nike, Kaepernick will be treated like a “top-end NFL player.” He will have his own branded shoes and other apparel while getting paid millions.

Kaepernick is currently a free agent with few teams considering adding him to their rosters.

Colin Kaepernick to be face of new Nike ad campaign Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, was quoted by cable sports network ESPN as saying: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.”

Kaepernick, 30, signed a sponsorship deal with Nike in 2011 and has been kept on its payroll throughout the kneeling controversy, ESPN reported.

The player opted out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017 and has not played since. He is currently suing the NFL claiming he is being kept out of the league because of his part in the protests.

Outrage towards Nike is matching the outrage and ridicule towards Kaepernick himself on social media:

My Take

I have no respect for Kaepernick. If I wore Nike, I’d stop. But there’s something important happening here that needs to be discussed.

Kaepernick is cashing in on controversy rather than the job he was originally tasked to do. Once a promising football player with real star potential, he became more and more mediocre at a time when he should have been getting better. Say what you will about his activism, but I personally believe he would never have been taking a knee if he hadn’t been benched in the first place.

Was this his goal? Of course not. In fact, I believe he didn’t think it was ever going to be as big of a deal as it is today. But he’s cashing in now, getting paid what the elite in his profession get paid for endorsements. It’s a sad testament to what the American dream is becoming.

I’m not suggesting the old American dream no longer applies, but there’s a new one that’s been emerging for the last couple of decades. First, let’s look at what the dictionary says the American dream is:

The ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.

Today, it seems there are more and more people achieving their own version of the American dream through means other than hard work, determination, or initiative. Society tends to reward many who have done very little to deserve it, from the Kardashians or William Hung to Omarosa or Kevin Federline.

It’s not just famous people, either. We see examples of people doing normal things, wrapping them in a story that tugs on heartstrings, then posting it to GoFundMe until the media makes them wealthy. It happens every day now. Sometimes, even these incidents go south:

Homeless veteran says couple who raised $400K for him are ‘hypocritical,’ won’t give him money, a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran who says he was living on the streets of Philadelphia, gave Kate McClure, 28, the last of the cash he had panhandled that day after she ran out of gas, she wrote on a GoFundMe page that she created on Nov. 10 last year.

The page ended up raising more than $400,000, according to the GoFundMe page.

There’s another, less publicized version of the American dream that’s been catching my attention. While merely anecdotal, it struck me how many people I’ve talked to in the last couple of years who are on some form of government assistance. The welfare state has been alive and well for a while, but I’m talking about variations that do not just aid the poor.

I was chatting with a friend who said he and his wife were both on disability. That’s not out of the ordinary, but then he suggested I do the same. I’m not disabled, but he said that didn’t really matter. Doctors today are ready and willing to sign off on just about any mysterious pain or problem that can be cashed in for disability checks.

Then, it got stranger. Not only was he and his wife on disability, but most of their extended family were as well. Brothers, cousins, aunts… apparently the vast majority of both sides of their family no longer worked.

As I mentioned, this is anecdotal. I haven’t researched statistics, but based on what I was told and other stories of work-free American dreams coming true for people, I have no reason to doubt the validity of these claims.

Here’s the bottom line: The America that I thought I grew up in was either an illusion perpetuated by my hard-working parents and years of working hard myself, or this new version of the American dream is growing. When people like Kaepernick can be more successful by failing at their real jobs but cashing in on their activism, should we condemn them?

As a federalist and conservative, I cannot. I don’t like what he started, but I won’t begrudge him for his success. I will continue to believe hard work, determination, and initiative must be the driving forces for not only the true American dream but also for America itself. Nevertheless, I won’t be buying Nikes any time soon.


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