Colin Kaepernick recently voiced his complaints to Nike executives about the company’s plans to release patriotic themed sneakers that featured a Betsy Ross flag on the back portion of the shoes.
The sports apparel firm responded to the former NFL quarterback’s politically correct ridiculousness with complete capitulation and proceeded to pull the Air Max 1 USA shoe from the market.
Nike actually has a history of pandering to the left, which started well before the recent sneaker fiasco took place. The company offended a whole slew of its customers when it named the National Anthem-kneeling Kaepernick as the face of its formerly successful “Just Do It” campaign.
Nike is not alone in its mixing of business and politics. In truth, many of our companies have hopped on a leftist bandwagon, ushering in a “progressive” era of corporate virtue signaling.
“There’s a troubling trend among giant corporations using this wealth and power to force liberal dogma on an unwilling people. As liberal activists have lost control of the judiciary, they have turned to a different hub of power to impose their views on the rest of the country. This time it’s private power…,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) stated in a June speech given to his colleagues in the U.S. Senate.
The senator is correct. Corporate capitulation to liberal demands has snaked its way throughout the business world. From Left Coast entertainment companies to East Coast conglomerates, business entities have even seen fit to weigh in on individual state legislation, with top-down executive elites wielding economic power as a weapon to undermine the legitimate legislative process of our representative democracy.
One glaring example that the country lived through in 2016 was brought to the public, courtesy of the National Football League (NFL). The NFL had objected to a Georgia state bill that had at its core individual religious liberty.
The bill was characterized by the press at the time as creating legal discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals. After similar bills in Mississippi and North Carolina emerged, it prompted a letter, which was signed by 100 companies that were lobbying against the state measures. One company, PayPal, actually ended up removing 400 jobs from North Carolina in an apparent act of reprisal and display of newfound corporate political power.
The National Basketball Association moved the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, as an expression of protest against another of the state’s laws, which required transgender individuals to use a restroom that corresponds to the gender with which they were born.
Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook joined with other businesses in Texas to denounce bills in the state legislature that were claimed to have had the potential to inflict harm against individuals based on their sexual preferences. An online letter was posted, which was signed by the aforementioned businesses as well as other major entities, including PayPal, Pepsi, Unilever, Salesforce, IBM, and Ben & Jerry’s.
Numerous other companies have been racing in a political direction, one that is almost always left-of-center.
This year’s Super Bowl featured a Gillette ad that denounced “toxic masculinity,” which resulted in considerable backlash from sports and non-sports fans alike. Undeterred, the shaving supply giant doubled-down in its approach with a second commercial containing the same theme.
Since the #MeToo movement expanded out from Hollywood green rooms to corporate board rooms, businesses have become more sensitive to feminist causes. When the people of Georgia, via their representatives, revised their existing abortion laws, entertainment companies, which included Disney, Netflix, and Warner Media, threatened to inflict damage on Georgia’s film production industry unless the state acceded to their prescribed liberal dictates. A full-page advertisement bearing the signatures of hundreds of business heads appeared in The New York Times, attacking the legislative legal protections for pre-born humans.
Yet, when it comes to film production sites, Hollywood’s self-absorption seems to blind it to its own hypocrisy, as companies continue to film in locales such as the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Jordan, etc., places in which women face far more restrictive laws than those found in the U.S.
Other examples of how the scent of politics is wafting out of some of our nation’s largest corporate headquarters include the announcement from Bank of America that it would no longer lend money to those who operate immigration detention centers and private prisons. The institution followed in the footsteps of JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, which had also severed business ties with private prison operators.
Major businesses in the United States used to shy away from taking positions that might offend a segment of their potential purchasing base. Not so anymore. Like a dizzying number of other radical changes that our present culture is undergoing, the notion that corporations would be wise to remain apolitical appears to have been tossed in the graveyard of forgotten business practices.