#sports

Nike – Just Hate It

Just when we though corporate sanctimony had hit highs at Halliburton and Gillette, Nike was not to be outdone. A shame that so many divisive and hypocritical athletes were portrayed as role models. Then again this is nothing new with the woke sports brand. Wonderful computer graphics though.

Colin Kaepernick was an average quarterback at best. He only started kneeling after he got stuck on the bench. Who could forget his hypocrisy re July 4th? He cheered the holiday in a tweet under President Obama but slammed it this year as a celebration of white supremacy. Nike portrays him as a hero. War widow Taya Kyle excoriated Nike for not knowing what real sacrifice was.

Megan Rapinoe was only too happy to hurl expletives when the USWNT won the women’s World Cup Soccer in 2019 despite so many children present. Rapinoe also slapped Sports Illustrated for not being woke enough in an acceptance speech after the magazine awarded her Sportsperson of the Year. Rapinoe will also join forces with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez next month to promote the reprehensible, radical and divisive Marxist 1619 Project which is now a mandatory part of the curriculum in state schools across Buffalo, Chicago, Newark and Washington.

Or LeBron James. He was only too happy to apologize to China on behalf of Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey who had tweeted support for those protestors seeking freedom in HK. We guess when one has a $1bn merchandise contract with Nike in China, freedom takes a backseat to expediency.

Or Serena Williams who blew up at the Australian Open when she was censured for multiple code violations in the final vs Naomi Osaka. She complained that the umpires were harsher on women. 20 years worth of statistics showed men are far more likely to be sanctioned in professional tennis.

Maybe Nike might reflect on a February 2020 study by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). According to the research, the persecuted Uighurs have been funnelled to work in factories in other provinces under conditions “that strongly suggest forced labour.”

Nike, Adidas, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are among 83 multinational corporations that have been linked to using this forced labour.

So in summary, Nike wants people to follow those who will gladly sell out their country, receive participation trophies while they are supposedly making a huge sacrifice, complain when things don’t go their way, apologize to dictatorships on behalf of those who support freedom, kneel, cuss and push Marxist ideology to school kids.

Maybe the brand should change its moniker to “Just Hate It.”

Social Justice Sports – the future

If only it wasn’t so close to reality.

WNBA – Why NoBody Attends

WNBA

We went back through the data to see just how the WNBA stacks up against the NBA. It came as no surprise to see it reflect other sporting codes like football. The men’s game has been at it longer and has 123x the revenue of the WNBA to prove it.

Over the years we have compared the USWNT vs the USMNT and the Socceroos vs the Matildas soccer teams to make the case for why there are discrepancies. These are just published facts. Data.

As an aside we have always advocated paying women more than men if the viewership reflects that – championship tennis is a case in point. We also made it clear at the time of Serena Williams’ tantrum that the statistics showed umpires were harsher on men than women over the last 20 years, even though she claimed the opposite. Once again, facts matter. Not feelings.

Put simply, when fans are asked to put hard money down, both men and women tend to support the male codes more than the female versions. It isn’t sexist. It’s the commercial reality. That translates to advertising and sponsorship dollars too. It is a virtuous circle that can always become vicious.

We think the WNBA’s political stunt which involved players walking off the court before the national anthem was played will backfire spectacularly and alienate what few viewers the league has managed to accumulate. It was a choice that the woke league backed. They should live with the consequences and not cry foul should attendance drop.

An article written by Sarah Ko about the WNBA ended up debunking her own argument. Essentially the men were all ego and money but the women were all just celebrating the love of the game, not the paycheck.

Then Ko spoke about the recent event where the WNBA complained that they only take 20% of the winnings when the NBA teams took 50%. Could it be that there is a bare minimum level of cost to run a league – salaries, administration, marketing and promotion- that would be drastically curtailed if the players got their wish, which ultimately would see them paid less over a lifetime.

Ko also mentioned that WNBA tended to have older fans. At some point, the WNBA administration has to make a commercial decision about how to broaden the supporter base. Having its players cynically hijack a social justice movement to gain attention to boost its audience numbers is risky. Writing ‘Black Lives Matter‘ on the court won’t help either. Why do they only advertise the names of dead black females? Don’t all female lives matter?

Sport has always been a great distraction from the stresses of daily life. Fans will desert in droves when the very identity politics they went to the game to escape are rammed down their throats before a whistle has been blown.

The ultimate irony will be when the very capitalist system they expected would boost their pay clashes with the same hand they bit to feed it.

If we were advising the Redskins response to Nike

Nike has stopped selling Washington Redskins gear and won’t resume sales until the NFL team changes its name.

Nike, alongside FedEx and PepsiCo have been put under pressure by activist investors. We can absolutely guarantee that the ultimate customers of money managers – individuals – want decent and sustainable returns, not woke virtue signaling.

Given investment houses often preach about the importance of accurate numbers, due diligence and shareholder returns, why not accept that over 90% of Native Americans have no issue with the name? Have Native Americans come out on mass demanding the name change?

The thing is that the majority demanding the change haven’t bothered to consult the very people who don’t appear to be bothered by it. Another typical woke liberal talking point to post to social media feeds to make themselves feel morally superior despite the fact that the majority don’t represent the very people they claim to.

What woeful governance practices to cave in to activists, who often don’t meet the very guidelines they demand of others.

Perhaps the Washington Redskins should return serve on Nike and demand that using a name from Greek mythology is cultural appropriation and not inclusive of the trans community. It should also request Nike stop making products that use cotton because of its links to slavery.

Furthermore, the use of synthetic materials that rely on the fossil fuels industry must be banned to show its commitment to combatting climate change.

The Redskins management should also demand that Nike force any staff member, executive, supplier, contractor or sports figure they sponsor not use Mercedes for its former links to slavery.

The cancel culture must apply across the board.

#PushBack. The corporate world has no place lecturing anyone on morals.

In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act

The activists demanding society changes to their version of a new world order are those least qualified to set the rules for the majority.

Gone are legal and democratic processes. Bypass all that. Topple statues, rewrite history and vilify anyone who wishes to have a civil discourse on how to make changes that benefit all, not just the few.

It is all too easy for those who have little clue of history to tell us about what the future should look like.

Who can blame them? No one is standing up to them.

Police officers taking knees despite not being guilty of any crimes themselves, corporates removing products they were happy to sell for decades on the basis it is now chic to make gushing virtue signaling PR releases to avoid censure and politicians who have been too weak to put anything meaningful on record. Gutless.

Where is the debate? Is this a society the plurality want? Activists riding roughshod over civility under the pretense of injustice is desirable? In other words, fight racism with more racism. Fight sexism with more sexism and protest violence with more violence against people completely unrelated to the cause. Cancel movies, sporting team chants and even comedy. They will tell you what is acceptable.

Decent people are prepared to accept improvements in society. They don’t see it achievable with defunded police, censorship or autonomous zones.

Perhaps CHAZ/CHOP is the perfect example of what the apparatchiks who scream the loudest, covet. For them, Day 1, Year 0 is a mission. Never mind the hypocrisy of everything it stands for. No police, rule by unelected warlords, mob violence with street administered kangaroo courts, demands for whites to compensate blacks and walls with strict immigration policies. That is not all of it. Everything they reject in a democratic society they endorse in CHAZ.

We are being led by cowards. The more our law makers and companies surrender to appeasing the mob, the more they are emboldened.

Like most decent people, we don’t need sanctimonious lectures from corporates, sporting bodies and law makers, many with sordid pasts, on how we should check our privileges and reflect on feeling guilty about things which don’t define us nor ever given a thought.

Yet this is what is happening. Complete submission to a fringe minority who use threats an intimidation to foster change. Who knew shaving required lectures on toxic masculinity? Who knew skin whitening cream was inappropriate despite pale skin being desirable in certain cultures for centuries before people of other races were even known about? Everything is at risk of appropriation.

No thanks.

We’ll continue to make noise in full knowledge we will be the first to be locked up in a new world order because “In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act.”

Lewis Hamilton joins the hypocrisy brigade

Six time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has expressed his support to those toppling statues and dismantling racist symbols around the globe.

Hamilton is paid £40million a year by Mercedes.

According to Bernard P. Bellon, in his book, “Mercedes in Peace and War,” the German manufacturer “prospered on the backs of thousands of concentration camp slave laborers right up to the final days of the Third Reich.

If Hamilton is to be a true steward of woke cancel culture he should resign immediately and make a public statement to the effect that all slaves matter.

Will his ignorant hypocrisy end? It’s cringeworthy behaviour and the truth is racism certainly hasn’t held back his deserved success on the track one bit.

Self-imposed slavery on the sporting field?

We couldn’t help but notice the kneeling across global sporting codes over the weekend. In Australia, players of the AFL and NRL codes all took the knee. No one stood.

The football leagues across Europe did the same thing.

Have we just witnessed acts of modern day slavery?

No, we are not trying to draw an equivalence to those that suffered at the hands of real slavery more than a century ago. Let’s be absolutely clear.

However it is not hard to see capitulating to the mob by surrendering constitutional rights out of a fear of exercising them as a reflection of the bleak dystopian future that is rapidly approaching.

We can be absolutely sure that failure to publicly submit to causes like BLM will lead to vilification and worse. Best to fall in line (literally) to avoid being attacked and face the inevitable backlash from the verbally violent apparatchiks on Twitter.

Is it fair to assume that every player believed in the cause of kneeling for BLM? Or were some pressured to do so? Did they feel their contracts might come under threat for non compliance?

Worry they might. LA Galaxy star Aleksandar Katai was recently sacked for something his wife tweeted about BLM without his knowledge. Career over. Shouldn’t the incendiary tweets of a spouse live and die there? Should companies have the power to sack us for the free speech exercised by our own husbands or wives in their own time?

Do employers have rights to enforce behaviors of employees completely unrelated to their jobs especially if not bound by legal contracts?

Did woke sponsors threaten to withdraw support if they didn’t make the virtue signaling gesture? Or did the same sponsors fear secondary boycotts and demand players got on message? Will players and officials kneel at every match from now on?

Are police officers – who attend every sporting match for player and fan security – so in need of being vilified each game for things the overwhelming majority haven’t committed?

Let’s not forget the long list of disgraceful crimes committed by many sports celebrities including rape, murders, shootings, animal cruelty, prostitution rings, assault, robbery, illegal gun possession, DUI and resisting arrest to name a few. Are these the types of role models the sports bodies think should lecture the rest of us?

We don’t doubt that most players believe in the lives of black (and all) people but was there any resistance in the locker room beforehand? Did they fear an Israel Folau style social media lynch mob which might drag their own family members in the line of fire for failing to fall to their knees?

The NFL in America marks the next step for the rest of the world’s sporting codes.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a woefully cringeworthy and cowardly apology for ignoring the cause started by Colin Kaepernick, who will now get to name his price. Watch Goodell make him a race liaison for the NFL. Forget that Kaepernick was an average quarterback when he played. Just sign him ahead of far better players in order to avoid censure. A multi-year lucrative multi-million dollar participation trophy awaits.

Goodell said the NFL condemns systemic racism. Really? Who knew? Why would the NFL have to publicly announce the bleeding obvious? c.70% of NFL players are handsomely rewarded African Americans. Hardly a league guilty of oppressing minorities.

Goodell promised to spend $250 million over 10 years to combat systemic racism. Put that $25m yearly stipend against the $8bn in annual revenue, that is a token 0.31% of that. So it’s hardly a sum relative to the self loathing video made. Still it makes for good headlines. Will the NFL subsidize Kaep out of that sum?

Will fans be subject to a ditching of the flag and an end to the national anthem at the game? Will it be replaced by a minute’s silence where law abiding, open minded and tolerant citizens of all races are required to watch propaganda on police brutality broadcast on big screens to martial music before kick-off?

What is worse is that Goodell skipped over the fact that his fans more than likely already condemned police brutality well before his forced confession reminiscent of an ISIS hostage video.

Is Goodell’s memory so short? Don’t fans just want to unwind from the stresses of family, work and politics by watching their team play a great game?

The NFL might feel encouraged that it’s viewership may have made a tepid recovery from the lows of 2017 but it shouldn’t test the loyalty of fans this way. They don’t pay good money to be lectured over things they already repudiate.

The Australian Wallabies rugby union team is another franchise which succumbed to pandering to identity politics over serving the needs of paying customers. Self-inflicted wound. It will take decades to recover, if ever.

The AFL and NRL should watch their step too. Overplay politics at games where fans go to escape it and they might find they walk away leaving them where they are now – cardboard cutouts in the stands and canned crowds. Don’t mistake any bump in ratings as anything other than a short term COVID19 induced boredom escaping aberration.

To think if the players hadn’t submitted to bondage in the first place, they would have no need to get on their knees of their own volition and beg their ultimate paymasters for mercy.

Sneaker Wars

Nike is waxing lyrical about selling out its $110 Colin Kaepernick sneaker in 7 minutes online. eBay has these kicks selling for up to $950. Of course, no data has been released on how many pairs were made.

No doubt wearing a pair of Kaeps expresses one’s belief in woke causes as much as wearing a MAGA hat shows one’s desire for having pride in one’s country.

Recall the social justice warrior and NFL kneeler called on Nike to recall the Betsy Ross sneakers made for July 4 on the grounds they hark back to a time when slavery existed. Sneaker.com notes that those blacklisted shoes are selling for $15,000 on eBay.

While not a strict apples for apples comparison given the Betsy Ross sneakers were pulled from sale, at the very least Nike should realize the power of capitalism when the scarcity value carries higher desirability than a has been football player who loves to virtue signal.

Note in the latest Nike Q2 financial results, America was the worst performing market for the company. All the growth is coming out of China.

It is unlikely that Kaep kicks will arrest the dismal growth in home markets. Oh, and for those that point to the stock price, note that Nike has a $15bn buyback program in place and has only performed inline with the NASDAQ.

Rugby Australia chokes on its own incompetence

IZZY.png

After exchanging a politically correct, vomit-inducing and nose-bleedingly insincere prepared statement drafted by professional media consultants -not lost on anyone – the fact remains that Rugby Australia (RA) is the loser in the Israel Folau saga. We can forget the original source of the dismissal and the rights and wrongs of it. If RA thought it had a proper case, the legal fees (which it claimed were worth saving and settling out of court) would have been way less than the $10m payout he was demanding. So much for supporting the very communities the RA plasters all over its website.

The outcome was the result of management incompetence in thinking that appearing woke trumped legal due process. In full knowledge that Folau had a $1.6mn war chest (courtesy of Christians, free speech advocates and rugby fans alike) to take up the case against his former employer, the board was forced to buckle and issue an apology to the former rugby star, which would never have been necessary if it had a smidgen of judgment in the beginning.

RA CEO Raelene Castle can laugh off “wildly inaccurate” speculation on the $8mn rumoured settlement but the fact is the board knows the exact amount. Israel and Maria Folau wouldn’t have been grinning like Cheshire cats were he to have signed away for less than his rescinded contract. It will be fascinating to see the composition of the 2019/20 reported figures that will be published in due course. Expect some accounting trickery to fudge it into the numbers.

Castle said a few months back that the franchise could weather paying out Izzy Folau’s $10m claim. Although CM is not sure that paying out $10m + costs – which would wipe out almost 2/3rds of the $18mn in cash on the balance sheet – is something a CEO should think is worth boasting about. What she has long needed to focus on is arresting the declining operating performance. Yet she stated emphatically that the RA won’t have to make changes to the budget. Maybe her lawyers pieced together a multi-year drawdown of the sum to be paid to smooth out the ultimate impact. 

The RA franchise is the laughing stock of the rugby world. So transparent is the lack of accountability, woeful internal coordination and deteriorating financial results that it requires nothing more than a drastic overhaul if the entity is to thrive.

Former coach Michael Cheika let loose that it was no secret he had no relationship with the CEO and a very poor one with Chairman Cameron Clyne. This coming from the very individual running by far the biggest RA franchise. Despite possessing by far the worst performance record of any Wallabies coach, management persevered with a man who didn’t have a leg to stand on but cast aspersions on the executive team.

Therein lies the problem. RA can push all of the woke causes (e.g. LGBTQI+, gender equality) it likes, but if the ultimate end customer derives no value from it, it is a fruitless exercise which can’t escape the scrutiny of the free market come time to pay bills.

Castle may believe that this was a commercial decision for the sake of providing certainty. Had she done the right thing from the start she could have avoided getting embroiled in a scandal that has exposed the poor governance within.

Isn’t it odd that the LGBT activists are now attacking the very institution that set out to promote them – RA. CM has never thought much of his tweets but the reaction to them has been so over the top. The faux outrage mob finds oppression in everything.

Castle should resign and if she won’t the board should fire her despite her defiance against the bleeding obvious – she is in over her head. Fans won’t return with the status quo.

Get woke, go broke.

South Park shuns PC in women’s sports

South Park has never won any prizes for political correctness which is why the formula continues to be so successful. This episode mocks the current obsession of accepting trans females in women’s professional sports.

N.B.it contains profanity.

To think poor old Martina Navratilova was eviscerated by activists for pointing out the obvious with respect to biological males playing female sports. Despite being such a positive role model for her community in the tennis world, the loony left can’t face biological facts.