Now, Dick’s Sporting Goods is hearing from its stockholders.
Since the company reacted to the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by betraying its customers who support the Second Amendment, Dick’s has been hit by the gun industry, from street-level stores to corporate decision-makers.
But at a shareholders meeting on Wednesday, Dick’s heard from people with skin in the game.
In a direct attack on Dick’s CEO Edward Stack and other members of the company’s board, shareholder David Almasi, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, raked the company’s leadership over the coals.
To the company’s top officers, Almasi charged, “virtue signaling” was more important than the company’s sales.
After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Dick’s announced it would no longer sell AR-15s (the “assault weapon” liberals hate the most these days) and would restrict firearms sales to those 21 years of age or older.
Those might be considered defensible business decisions, perhaps with worries about liabilities in mind, but Dick’s directors went even further, hiring an anti-gun Washington lobbying firm to actively work against Second Amendment freedoms in the nation’s capital.
Almasi cited that decision in particular in his attack.
Listen to the whole thing here:
After the Parkland shooting, Almasi said, “Dick’s Sporting Goods immediately engaged in corporate virtue signaling, by ending the sale of AR-15s, high-capacity magazines and other accessories. Dick’s also no longer sells guns to people until three years after they’re eligible for military service.
“In addition, Dick’s reportedly hired lobbyists to promote gun restrictions, even though you’re literally in the business of selling guns …
“The company is willfully giving up money. It’s damaged its reputation by lending its voice and its resources to those who want to abolish the Second Amendment, even while the vast majority of … citizens support the amendment,” Almasi said.
“Thirty percent of Americans own guns and another 11 percent live with someone who does. Now you’ve alienated them.”
According to Fox Business Network, Dick’s has made up for its losses in firearms-related sales in other areas and the stock has risen by 13 percent over the past month.
Liberals like the crew at ThinkProgress are crowing that that proves the Dick’s critics are wrong, but it could well be a short-term effect from the political moment. Dick’s got a lot of headlines out of its anti-gun stance, and liberals could well have decided to patronize the stories because of the publicity.
In the long-term, though, Dick’s has a vested interest in pleasing its outdoors customer base, and its anti-gun decision was a flagrant snub to millions of Americans who could well have been spending their money at Dick’s instead of at a competitor. And shareholders don’t like having company executives who are “willfully giving up money.”
It’s likely not the last time Dick’s shareholders rake the company execs over the coals.
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