Everyone deals differently with controversy. The most famous sportswear brand is struggling financially following their controversial support decision, while one restaurant’s decision to take quite opposite action has paid off.
We’re talking, of course, about Nike and the NFL kneeling kerfuffle. After the company behind the famous “swoosh” named washed-up national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick the face of their ad campaign, stock shares sank and widespread anti-Nike boycotts were announced.
It doesn’t look seem like a particularly smart business move, which very few with half a brain could have predicted. Perhaps Nike executives should have gathered some information in Lugoff, South Carolina, first.
That’s where one an owner of a small business took a bold stance against the NFL, and it’s having the complete opposite effect as with Nike.
“Dave Pettinelli, the owner of Dave’s Place in Lugoff, is a veteran and said he disagrees with the time and manner of players who choose to kneel during the national anthem,” reported WIS-TV.
He “banished” the NFL from his restaurant last season, and decided not to broadcast any professional football at the establishment this year, either.
As a sign with a red slash through the NFL logo outside Dave’s Place clarifies, the restaurant has gone all-in on standing up for the stars and stripes rather than the increasingly controversial league.
Fortunately, this didn’t affect business, actually, it improved.
“People come in and they tell me I’m doing the right thing,” he told WIS-TV. “I’ve noticed business has gone up as a result of the sign but that’s not why I did it. It’s my personal belief and opinion and that’s why I put it up in the first place.”
That personal belief is shared by many patrons.
“I called my cable company and told them I don’t want to watch anything having to do with the NFL,” explained one Dave’s Place regular named Stoney Wages.
“I think during the anthem they ought to show a little respect for the country,” Wages, a veteran who deployed to Vietnam three times, continued. “They got the rest of the day, the rest of the week to go outside and get on their knees whenever they want.”
For his part, the restaurant owner believes there’s nothing wrong with wanting to address community issues facing the nation. But Pettinelli is convinced that refusing to stand for the American flag during the national anthem is the wrong approach.
“If you want to be productive and not divisive, do it outside the stadium,” he explained. “Talk to law enforcement, talk to the young people in these inner cities, talk to them about the gangs, talk to them about vocational schools or going to college.”
“These are all the things we need to project to our young people and I don’t think they’re getting their point across to these people,” he continued.
It’s a solid point. The idea that Nike running ads with Kaepernick’s face will do anything to actually improve inner city problems is a bit ludicrous. More likely, it was about attention — both for the washed-up quarterback who was benched even before he started kneeling, and the well-known sports brand.
They are getting attention already, though not exactly as they expected. One should bear the consequences of their actions, and it appears that small-town patriotism enjoys greater popularity rather than spoiled millionaires pouting for the cameras.