With Nike claiming that Colin Kaepernick “sacrificed everything” for what he believes in, a former Navy SEAL has come forward to issue a brutal reality check that the misguided company sorely needed to hear.
In the wake of Nike’s announcement that Colin Kaepernick would serve as the poster boy for the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign, the company has lost revenue and favorability. And what seems to have alienated consumers the most is the assertion that Kaepernick somehow “sacrificed everything” for what he believes in.
In reality, Colin Kaepernick has sacrificed absolutely nothing. In fact, he has gained more fame, fortune, and notoriety than he ever would have on the football field, as he was only an average player, at best. So to say he has “sacrificed everything” for what he believes in, when others have actually died fighting for much more noble causes, has understandably infuriated much of the public.
Eli Crane, a Navy SEAL veteran and CEO of Bottle Breacher, told IJR how it is ridiculous for Nike and Kaepernick to claim the football player had sacrificed everything in order to “take a knee” during the National Anthem. “I thought I’d take this opportunity to refocus some of this light onto those that have really sacrificed everything for something they believe in,” Crane said. “Our service men and women who have sacrificed their lives, time with their families, and in many cases, the comforts that we often take for granted.”
“I personally served with several men who will never again see their parents, kiss their wives or children again, and often communicate with those who are still overseas serving,” Crane added. “Though many of us didn’t pay the ultimate price and give our lives we really did sacrifice everything we cared about to serve the country that has provided us all with so much opportunity and freedom.”
“One of the hardest things for me personally was to watch my oldest daughter grow up in photographs,” he said. “It also cut pretty deep to come home seeking a warm family reunion to find my child was afraid of me because she didn’t know who I was. You miss birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and very special moments. Yet life must go on.”
“Our families are hit the hardest in our absence,” Crane continued. “They can’t call us when things are tough or they want to share a cute first event like your daughter just took her first step or your son said his first word. They must carry on with their lives knowing that any minute they can get that dreaded knock on the front door from several men in uniform. Only to inform them that there won’t be another homecoming and that their lives are shattered and their loved one in uniform really did sacrifice everything for something they believed in to their core.”
“So go right ahead major corporations and sell more sneakers,” said the three-tour veteran. “Promote celebrity millionaires as those that have sacrificed everything for something they believe in as you sign them to million dollar contracts with their own clothing lines. We won’t even notice the blinding hypocrisy. We will, however, continue to stand for your right to do it, whether we believe or feel disrespected by the message.”
After thirteen years of service, Crane made the decision to leave the Navy. It was a choice that he now calls “selfish,” even though he has made a deeper sacrifice than most. “I was sick of sacrificing everything for something I believed so much in,” but “was delighted to realize that my service to my country didn’t have to end. I could still ‘Just do it’ and serve my country in other ways,” he said, taking a dig at Nike’s 30th-anniversary campaign.
One of the ways Crane contributes now is by raising his children “to never be ungrateful to this country that has provided the ultimate umbrella of opportunity and prosperity for them.” In other words, he isn’t raising little Colin Kaepernicks.
Eli Crane gave up more than most to give his children — and everyone else — the opportunity and prosperity they are afforded in this great nation. But, it’s always the ones who have actually sacrificed for our country who would never dream of doing something as disrespectful as kneeling during the National Anthem or wearing a pair of socks that depict police officers as pigs. The imbeciles who do those things are always the privileged, entitled, out-of-touch jerks like Colin Kaepernick.