#corporatehypocrisy

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.”

Take me out to (just) the ball game

DBE21564-76BA-4733-B340-0A9075502831.jpeg

Isn’t the sole reason to buy tickets to a ball game is so that you can relax and forget about stresses at work or home? It is a distraction. Family time. A way to unwind. Paying to see elite athletes do what they do best. What fans don’t pay to see is a game which is dressed in politics. Once again the President has smacked more people eager to disrespect the nation. While hardly presidential, he none-the-less made a very good point – “fire those sons of bitches” referring to those grossly overpaid players who make political gestures such as taking a knee when the national anthem is being played. When this whole ‘kneeling’ malarkey kicked off, NFL ratings have been on a slide and the 2017 start has showed a shocking 24% (FOX) and 15% (CBS) drop in the Prime 18-49 viewership stats.

09362026-88F3-4C45-87EC-1A0449117402

Now the facts are simple. 30 of the 32 NFL teams are owned by whites. The other two by Americans of Asian decent. The idea that Colin Kaepernick was fired because of racism is plain dumb. 70% of the players in the NFL are black. These players are paid huge salaries  and to all intents and purposes are employees of the club. Therefore the boss contracts players to behave in ways that not only win ballgames but respect their customers (i.e. fans) who ultimately fund their salaries. Kaepernick was on $12mn per year. Hardly skimping by because of his supposedly racist bosses. Yet in his quest to protest police brutality he decided to shove his politics into fans’ faces. While they just wish to enjoy a game he wants to sour the experience.

Ah yes, he has a right to free speech. Indeed he does. However when he is on the ‘company clock’ he is still required to follow the boss’ instructions. That is part of the contract of employer/employee. In a sense what Kaepernick was doing was dissent. If he wants to protest such matters why doesn’t he do it off the field. In fact his actions have spawned copycats in kid’s sports. What values are we teaching these kids? Instead of looking at ways to sensibly heal rifts, coaches are trying to brainwash innocent kids to doing their protests for them.

The AFL is also guilty of this political posturing over same sex marriage (SSM). The AFL has not been the poster child for best in class ethics (e.g. bosses having affairs with junior female staff) yet feel they should put “yes” on the footballs and their HQ logo. All fans want to do is watch the game and escape all the ills in society. They don’t pay to have it served up to them. It doesn’t matter if these fans support SSM it’s a question of why are corporates or sports teams campaigning on what consenting adults do behind closed doors. It is irrelevant.

The argument we often hear is that corporations should use their profiles to promote social issues. Corporations are nothing but buildings with desks, chairs some pot plants and desktop PCs. They aren’t people. Sure people work inside them but to think that “the corporation speaks for us” is nonsense. In most cases it’s a small committee forcing their sense of political will on staff about how they should behave. Sure basic standards in the office are fair but since when did political views, gender or sexual orientation become such a fertile ground for companies to push on staff. Surely the only true goal of the staff is to work as a team to produce results efficiently in the interests of their customers. Not seek to rebrand their logos and shopfronts to promote political causes.

If companies feel so strong about such issues perhaps they should chisel those principles under the other core goals respelendent in the office foyer. Yet it is different. Corporates are becoming so scared of lawsuits and reputational damage that they embark on social crusades to chalk up a track record to deny they discriminate in the workplace hence all these social targets. So while some staff see the corporate actions as virtuous many don’t realize the public point scoring element to the cheerleading

Ultimately consumers have choices. When it comes to sport people want to relax and enjoy the game, not absorb political posturing. When it comes to drinking coffee they don’t want Starbucks explaining their rationale as to why the removal of Christmas cups was done.

Here is an idea. If the NFL or AFL IR anymother business for that matter wish to push political causes offer fans/customers a choice. Half price tickets/services/goods with a political pamphlet handed out or a full priced ticket/service/good with none. That way the fan/customer can choose. I’d only suggest to put a recycling bin right by the ticket booth/register so you can see how many fans/customers  actually care what you have to say on political matters! You’ll soon realize the majority don’t care and your revenues will have halved. Best stop the politics and charge full prices.

Thank you Reebok

IMG_9199.JPG

Thank you Reebok. Where would we be without your lessons in telling us what is appropriate in the PC world? While many view that infamous line as one of a dinosaur (in hindsight it is a dramatic improvement over other locker room talk) I’m sure many of you have encountered women (and men) who warmly welcome comments about a new haircut, attire or shoes. Many of you haven’t seen those people march right into the HR department to lodge a formal complaint. One would imagine if Brad Pitt or George Clooney had said it then the press would spin it another way. Where was Reebok when Hillary Clinton joked about wanting to watch a replay of Lenny Kravitz’s wardrobe malfunction that exposed his Prince Albert? Surely an opportunity to protest against the brazen sexism against men.

However what is it with corporates that feel they have a need to enforce views on same-sex marriage, LGBT, sexism, climate abatement or religion? I don’t fly Qantas because it’s CEO pushes the agenda on passengers and staff, I don’t drink Starbucks because of its religious beliefs and I don’t need Unilever to preach it’s diversity. All I’m after is the product that serves the need. Not wrapped in political point scoring

In Reebok’s case the Institute for Global Labor & Human Rights made allegations in the past that the sportswear company was exploiting workers (80% female) in El Salvador. The company has denied the allegations after a thorough investigation.

In any event, should Reebok make huge profits on the back of these remarks to the French First Lady will the product planners  secretly pray for the next “gaffe” to help the brand’s performance? In a round about way Reebok is exploiting a supposed defence of women’s rights to boost its bottom line. Perhaps it should donate every cent earned from the campaign on awareness? Or maybe upping the pay of its factory workers? Then people could remark about its corporate responsibility  was “in such good shape” That would be beautiful.

Corporate virtue signalling on gay marriage

IMG_0483.JPG

Since the end of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) Qantas shares have not headed north of the level seen in 1999. That is right, Qantas shares can’t gain higher altitude than that. Yet, the company is pushing virtue signaling alongside ANZ, Airbnb, Google, Fairfax Media and FOXTEL to wear gay marriage acceptance rings (pictured) until same sex marriage is legalized. To be honest I just wish they’d have the plebiscite and be done with this. The idea is to distribute these acceptance rings to guests, clients and travellers. I suppose were someone to politely decline to wear one they’d undoubtedly be branded homophobic, bigoted and summarily ostracized for such expressing such views. That they may indeed support gay marriage but not feel it important enough in their list of priorities (mortgages, job security, kid’s school, health etc) to do more. That is a conscious choice. Fail to wear the ring and perhaps your career takes a turn for the worse all because you don’t want to be forced to outwardly express your political views. 1st in SEO’s CEO is ringing alarm bells in my head over forcing people to bend to the will of their masters. On November 10th 1st in SEO’s CEO Matt Blanchard wrote:

“America has elected Donald Trump, a racist, sexist, fascist, to be our next president. 1st In SEO will no longer do business with any person that is a registered Republican or supports Donald Trump. 1st In SEO will also not do business with business interests that support either the Republican Party or Donald Trump. 1st In SEO obviously has no actual means of determining our clients’ or prospective clients’ political standing. We will rely on the integrity of the men and women who are our clients currently to find another Search Engine Optimization provider if they are Republicans, voted for Donald Trump or support Donald Trump. If you are a Republican, voted for Donald Trump or support Donald Trump, in any manner, you are not welcome at 1st In SEO and we ask you to leave our firm.”

Pretty much everyone is aware of gay marriage yet this is the type of stunt which looks to force acceptance. Yes, the world is changing but when will people learn that ramming views down peoples’ throats has the opposite effect. If people truly cared about the issue they would volunteer their feelings rather than have corporates espouse ideologies that were never requested with the product or service on offer.

Some corporates have the highest levels of double standards when it comes to political crusades. Please click here on the numerous examples of them.

Have the plebiscite. Give all people a say. Even if the outcome reflects the polls and is deemed a waste of taxpayer dollars so be it. That is democracy. Please do it ASAP so I don’t need to have corporates virtue signal in my face. If CEOs feel so passionately about politics maybe they should come down from their multi-million dollar ivory towers and run for office for a fraction of the pay. Now that IS the best way to show you truly back the cause (of course assuming people would vote you into office).