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On Monday, Nike announced that that former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be the new face of its long-running “Just Do It” campaign. By Monday afternoon, Trump supporters began destroying their own clothes.

Trumpists spent the evening cutting up their own socks, rending their own shirts, setting fire to their own shoes and, of course, making videos of the whole thing so that they could show how they owned the liberals. By destroying their own stuff. That they already paid for. This follows in the proud tradition of Trumpists blowing up Yeti coolers when they thought Yeti had stopped being adequately supportive of the NRA. Because there’s nothing that shows righteous anger like … destroying inanimate objects that you own. It’s like taking your ball and going home. Then blowing up the ball.

Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016. It was in that season that he began to protest police violence against African Americans by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem. He was later dropped from the 49ers and, despite a record and abilities that would seem to make him a sought-after commodity, has been left on the sidelines. However, in that interim, many other players have taken up the cause advocated by Kaepernick and begun using the anthem as a time to show their concern over racial injustice.

Visibility over protests has increased since Donald Trump began directing scorn at the NFL and suggesting that the players were not protesting police violence, but “the flag” or “the anthem.” Trump has on multiple occasions stated that the protests are somehow offensive to veterans. In September 2017 he called kneeling players “sons of bitches” and declared they should be fired.

The NFL responded by passing new rules in May requiring that players either stand during the anthem, or stay in the dressing room until it was completed. Some teams, like the Miami Dolphins, went further, putting in place club rules that would fine or suspend players. But the new policies did not, of course, satisfy Trump who was far more interested in having a target to stir up racial hatred than he was in any perceived slight to “the flag.” The month after the new rule was issued, Trump disinvited the the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles from the traditional White House visit. Trump issued a statement saying that the Eagles disagreed with him because “he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem.” But the Eagles were one of the few teams where no player had knelt during the 2017 season.

Trump has yet to respond to the selection of Kaepernick by Nike. But whether he’s sizing up the South Lawn for a sneaker roast, or just working out the best way to give a discount to his fans on lighter fluid, it seems a sure thing that Trump will find a way to insert himself.

Trump has from the beginning attempted to appropriate a protest designed to highlight racial injustice and used it to increase racial injustice by inflaming racial hatred. This is not a new thing. It’s precisely the kind of action taken during the Civil Rights movement by politicians who pointed to black protests as a clear sign that they needed to be even more abusive to blacks.

Not surprisingly, Fox News has been running with this story almost 24/7 since the Nike announcement. There is now nothing more important than who is in a shoe company commercial, and nothing more beautiful than people taking a pair of scissors to their socks.

But at least for the moment, the images of Trumpists smugly snickering over their own shoe-bonfires is enormously amusing.

And the parodies are even better.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Gee, FOUR unarmed, disabled African-American US Military Veterans were among those killed by untrained or racist Police Officers. All four of them served under, saluted, & respected the flag. It was the flag that didn’t respect them.

  2. As long as Trump and his flunkies including his bought and paid-for-judge. I will not respect the flag or until America REALLY BECOMES great Again. I really don’t Nike gives a shit about you burning your socks and shoes. Dump POS’s.

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