Responding to a question posed on Facebook, Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe weighed in on the controversy over Nike’s ad campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“The thing with Kaepernick and Nike was what it was, but, of course, everything kinda landed on 9/11,” Mike said. “People were saying, ‘Say something about this already.’ And I looked at the ad, really looked at it for the first time.
“Look, Colin Kaepernick is free to protest whatever he wants and Nike is certainly free to elevate any opinion they feel like. It’s still America,” he continued. “But it was the words on the ad, it was the ‘sacrifice anything part,’ and I just thought, landing on 9/11, that’s a hell of a thing.”
Mike went on to say that, from a marketing standpoint, Nike’s choice of Kaepernick was “confusing” because they chose “a guy that half the people in the country don’t really relate to in terms of what a hero could be, or ought to be. Especially this time of year.”
He suggested that Tom Burnett, the hero who helped lead the uprising on flight 93, might have been the better choice. Recalling the transcripts from Burnett’s last conversation with his wife, Mike noted that his final words were, “we’re going to do something.”
“That’s the ultimate irony,” Mike said. “You’re talking about a Nike campaign that is built on a slogan that says ‘Just do it’ and his last words to his wife were ‘we’re going to do something.’ And that’s what hit me … that’s not a slogan, that’s not marketing … the thing about these moments is, it’s not the enormity of the tragedy, it’s the microelement of it. It’s the smallness of it. What would you do? … It’s the ultimate personal question.”