British commentator Piers Morgan was a one-time supporter of NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s infamous football field protest. Morgan even believed that Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem was “respectful.”
With Nike’s new ad campaign, however, Morgan has changed his mind.
In a commentary published Tuesday by the U.K. Daily Mail, Morgan wrote that, “Until today, I believed Kaepernick had indeed sacrificed everything in his professional life to make a stand for what he believes in – which is shining a light on racial injustice in America and police violence against African-Americans.”
Now, Morgan feels like the wool was pulled over his eyes.
He criticized Kaepernick for enjoying the monetary rewards of Nike’s “cynical commercial plan.”
“… It turns out Nike have not just been paying him vast sums of money throughout this whole protest process, they have also just signed him up to a whacking new multi-million dollar deal,” Morgan wrote. “So in terms of financial reward, he hasn’t really sacrificed much at all, let alone ‘everything’.
“Indeed, it could be argued that Kaepernick will now make more money from Nike and the vast PR impact of this new deal than he ever would have done as an ageing, declining football player.”
As Yahoo NFL reporter Charles Robinson pointed out, Nike signed Kaepernick in 2011 but didn’t know how to use him once his protest got started in 2016.
In his article, Morgan brought up a tweet by Fox Sports commenter Jason Whitlock.
Whitlock, an outspoken critic of Kaepernick, took to Twitter on Monday to write:
“Told y’all from Day One this has always been about the money. All of it. Revolutionaries aren’t sponsored by major corporations. It’s been a hustle from the giddy-up.”
Told y'all from Day One this has always been about the money. All of it. Revolutionaries aren't sponsored by major corporations. It's been a hustle from the giddy-up.
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) September 3, 2018
“He’s got a point hasn’t he?” Morgan wrote.
“By taking Nike’s money, Kaepernick’s made it seem like he won’t salute the flag, but he will bow down to the dollar,” Morgan continued.
“And by filling his boots with corporate cash, he’s made a mockery of any suggestion that he’s been ‘sacrificing everything’.”
And for a one-time Kaepernick supporter like Morgan, that says it all.
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