Kaepernick: Just Don’t Do It
Following Colin Kaepernick’s Urges, Nike is Taking a Pair of Sneakers Off the Shelves
July 4th marks the American independence day. For many, that day means celebrating the country’s 243rd birthday with fireworks, cook outs, and time with friends and family. Covered in various versions of red and white stripes, blue with white stars, or some outrageous combination of the two, the Fourth of July has become a day of fun in the sun, usually with little significance placed on the day in 1776 where 56 men signed what was the beginning of this nation.
It should be no surprise that companies have found a way to commercialize the patriotic fervor that surrounds this mid-summer holiday. Athletic wear companies usually roll out a line of red, white, and blue paraphernalia for folks to don. Typically, the “more American” the better. After all, that’s who’s birthday it is, right?
This week, Nike was planning to do the same as it has every year. Red, white, and blue swooshes are already all over major athletic clothing stores, and the SNKRS app has shown for a few weeks now that several red, white, and blue sneakers are set to launch this week. The usage of the flag serves as a reminder that the Fourth of July is not just a day off of work, but a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Until Colin Kaepernick, famous for taking a knee, took another stand.
Kaepernick reached out to Nike executives this week to discuss the Nike Air Max 1, set to release for this week, had the Betsy Ross version of the American flag on the back heel. The flag features the thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, as it did in the 18th century, to represent the original 13 colonies. The flag was the official flag of the United States from 1776 to 1792, the earliest stages of the United States. As Colin Kaepernick pointed out to Nike’s executives, this calls back to times of enslaved people. Further, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in their coverage, some white supremacist organizations use the flag to harken back to “real” America.
Nike listened to Kaepernick, and is pulling the shoes off of the shelves.
Nike has utilized activism in several advertising campaigns, notably their LGBTQ Pride and EQUALITY collections.
Additionally, Nike has used Kaepernick as the face of the brand’s 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign. Clearly, the company wants to make their stances clear on issues of social inequality here in the United States.
Further, Kaepernick has made it clear that even as the face of a corporation as big as Nike, he is not settling on his stances on issues.
For a brand that constantly tells us all to Just Do It, they’re spending the Fourth of July showing us all that sometimes, the answer is Don’t Do It.
Klutch Sports’ to Become Part of United Talent Agency’s Sports Division
Klutch Sports is the sports agency run by LeBron James’ close friend and agent Rich Paul. Klutch represents many of the best basketball players in the NBA, namely LeBron’s newest teammate Antony Davis.
Paul has been building out an impressive client list ever since leaving CAA to form his own agency back in 2012. Now his work is paying off in a big way, as Klutch is set to become part of one of the biggest talent agencies in the world.
United Talent Agency is a major player in Hollywood, representing big-name movie stars such as Kevin Hart and Angelina Jolie.
Up to this point, United Talent did not have their own sports division, so they are essentially making Klutch that division. As part of the deal, Paul will still operate Klutch under that name, but will also be the head of UTA sports.
For years the narrative around Klutch is that it was a somewhat puppet agency for LeBron, where the NBA superstar could represent his friends and wield massive power in the league, with Paul just being the face.
While it is clear that Klutch’s motives align with LeBron’s at times, such as when Davis forced his way to the Lakers, this deal is more about Paul than it is about LeBron.
One of the biggest talent agencies in the world is looking at Paul and saying they want him to be the face and voice of their sports division. Having LeBron as a client surely helps that image, but it is still one that Paul has earned on his own.
Three years ago, Phil Jackson came under fire when he referred to LeBron James’ close friends and business associates as his posse.
James argued in behalf of his friend and all the hard work they have done to become the best at what they do in their respective fields.
As we see the massive success of Paul as an agent and Maverick Carter as a producer, it is about time we give these men the credit for the success that they have earned, rather than just giving all of that to LeBron.
Top 20 Greatest Sports Movies of All-Time
Sports movies are the perfect personification of everything that we love about sports. They give the audience the same thrilling emotion that goes into the competition of sports, but with a dash of movie magic.
Stories of perseverance such Rudy or Rocky teach you to never give you up. While movies like Replacements and Bad News Bears show how any group of misfits can come together as a team to overcome all odds.
Now before we get into this list one thing needs to be made clear, there is spoilers that lie ahead as we look back at the Best Sports Movies of all-time.
The Big 3 – Week 3
This past weekend SLiC traveled with The Big 3 to Birmingham Alabama to kick off week 3. Alabama is mostly known for their college football dominance, but also has some current and former NBA players from there.
We caught up with former UAB standout Robert Vaden, member of BIG3’s Aliens as well as Jamario Moon who played locally at Central-Coosa and on both D-League teams in Alabama.
Charles Barkley grew up a little outside of Birmingham in Leeds, Alabama. College teammates and current NBA players Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins and Eric Bledsoe both grew up in Alabama as well.
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