Sports Shop Owner Kaepernicks Himself Right Out Of Business
Hoisted by his own petard. This is a phrase that will come in handy in the near future when hordes of MAGA-Americans finally begin shedding their Trump-fueled psychosis, and start to take stock of the damage they have done to their own lives. For the last several years we have seen the Right engaged in games of brinkmanship, gaslighting, and the ever present and always pernicious "self owns to own the libs." That is what Stephen Martin did when he decided to rid himself of all Nike merchandise because the brand used former football player and current social justice and anti-police-violence activist Colin Kaepernick as the face of its "Just do it" campaign. In a series of wild and erratic moves that border on the ridiculous, Martin went from owner of "Prime Time Sports" and patriotic American to a sad and shameful self-owned spectacle. You see, Martin got it in his head that kneeling for the National Anthem is disrespectful to our flag and our soldiers, so when Nike hired Kaepernick, he went spiraling out of control like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. And it's all Nike's fault. Because.
Truthfully, kneeling doesn't disrespect the flag or veterans; it's the most respectful dissent possible. And before Kapaernick started kneeling -- when he was still sitting grumpily -- patriotic Americans demanded he be respectful ... and show his dissent by kneeling. Then Fox News happened. And Facebook too. And we all know what that inevitably leads to, right? Propaganda, Group-think, and something I like to call "The Patriotism of Fools" takes over the debate, leading folks to do wilder and wilder shit in the name of patriotism, until they ultimately flame out in an ugly and desperate way.
Stephen Martin is not a cruel man, exactly, so you almost want to sympathize with him. ALMOST. He knows there is injustice in the system, and he even laments the victims in his own way, saying, "Oh my God, Trayvon [Martin], Rodney King. These things are documented and filmed." Yet there is a disconnect, because somehow he just doesn't get the kneeling part and he is so indoctrinated, he pretty much poured gas on himself and struck a match over a Facebook flame war, and self-immolated due to a Nike Campaign. Sad.
But Martin, who owns a sports merchandise store in Colorado Springs called Prime Time Sports, couldn't wrap his head around players kneeling during the national anthem. So he threw himself into the debate.
See, it's fine to throw yourself into debates. Your Editrix and I constantly rack up some major ownage on the Twitters; we own fools left and right, we (I) abuse them rhetorically, and sometimes (never) we are owned in return. This is normal. What Martin did was completely stupid. Because, why the hell would you place your business in jeopardy over some millionaire sports players having a protest moment when you agree with them about the problem?
And after Nike made quarterback Colin Kaepernick the face of a prominent ad campaign last year, Martin stopped selling the company's merchandise, a radical step for a sports store in a mall.
What the fuck is wrong with you, dude? You are not in the "Fuck Nike" business, you are in sports memorabilia and equipment business to sell as much crap as you can to any fool who is willing to drop their money off in your hands. I thought we were supposed to be all capitalist and mercenary in the days of MAGA?
He vowed to never order from Nike again.
Did they hurt YOUR FEELINGS?? My God I could literally shake this man, he is that infuriating.
My God You Are A Stupid Man, and I mean this in the kindest way ever. Stupid stupid stupid stupid. How.The.Fuck.Does.A.Sports.Shop.Not.Sell.Nike?
But the discounts on Nike merchandise — Prime Time Sports had $320,000 of it in stock at the time of the Kaepernick ad — cost Martin his financial lifeline. Once he got through January, the writing was on the wall that the business couldn't last.
I wanted to sympathize with you. I tried. But you sold all of your most popular shit at a steep discount because "Merica!" and I just want to kick you in your ass for being a self righteous dumblefuck.
After 20 years you cannot afford your lease and you do not regret "taking a stand" against a few ball players who do not even own Nike?
Now Prime Time Sports is closing, Martin announced Monday, a victim of both the culture wars surrounding the Kaepernick debate and the broader pains afflicting brick-and-mortar retailers. Without embroiling itself in controversy, the mall that houses Martin's store is struggling, too. The Sears is closing soon. A Dick's Sporting Goods pulls away some of his business.
"Being a sports store without Nike is like being a gas station without gas," Martin joked in a phone interview this week.
Ya think? If shit was already going not so good in your area, why the hell would you make it that much worse? How many employees will be assed out all because you wanted to stand up to "Big Nike" who has a "monopoly" on "Nikes"? Did you have a plan? ANY plan at all? And you might as well admit you enjoyed the attention you got from other mediocres like yourself for "taking a stand" over Colin "taking a knee."
But wait, here is some ultimate dumbery.
"Nike ran that ad to increase business, and I'm just collateral damage," he said. "And it could be that there are more people that are in opposition to me than I realize."
Hey, Stephen? Fuck you, dude. Had you behaved like a rational human being none of this shit would have happened. Also, yes. There are more of us, and we shop all the time. Just never at your store.
Martin tells patrons now he doesn't regret the stand he took. He refused to be shill for the NFL or for Nike, he tells them. There are men and women in the military who made real sacrifices, he says. He has no ill will toward Kaepernick, or any of the players demonstrating during the anthem, but he wishes they had some perspective.
" He refused to be shill for the NFL or for Nike,"
He refused to open his damn eyes and see the reality staring him in the face, because something something "perspective." The past year of his life has been nothing but an epic self own.
*Update: A settlement has been reached in Kaepernick's case against the NFL, but he signed an NDA like some common Trump victim.
The N.F.L. and Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who ignited a protest movement against racism and police brutality by kneeling on the sideline during the playing of the national anthem at games, have settled a case that accused the league of colluding to keep him off a team.
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