(This Op-Ed appears in the 9/11/18 issue of Florida Today)


Nike, the sports equipment giant, dropped 3 points in the stock market following that company’s new alliance with former NFLer, Colin Kaepernick. Considering Nike is worth $36.4 billion in the global market, that translates to a huge loss. I suspect it’s only just begun.

I first learned of the rising movement to burn Nike shoes in protest of the protester from my 55-year-old firefighter son who says he will no longer buy Nike products. He claims most of his civil service compatriots are doing the same.

My issue with ex-player, multi-millionaire Kaepernick is not about his entitlements to protest. It’s about abusing his constitutional rights by wrongfully denigrating the very nation that has given him those freedoms by being American.

Much of this ballyhoo would not have happened without the knowledge and consent of NFL owners and coaches who haven’t the guts to do what’s right. When a coach or league commissioner tells players (employees) they are there to play football and entertain fans, they should not be making on-duty political or social protests. If they violate orders, they should lose their jobs. That’s Employment 101.

This has nothing to do with free speech. While employed in a public setting for 30 years, I could not use my uniform to protest or endorse a war, criminal statutes or political figures while on duty. I was paid to perform at my employer’s bidding. Off duty is another issue.

When fans attend or watch pro football games, they have one motive: entertainment.  It’s not about politics, racial injustice, or gay pride. Thousands of fans deeply resent millionaire players misusing the limelight to protest issues unrelated to the game. In doing so, unwilling fans feel trapped. Men and women by the thousands, many of whom sacrificed arms, legs and lives by defending our country and keeping the streets of America as safe as possible, are subjected to unwarranted defamation.

Irate fans are speaking out with the absence of their dollars. According to a February report in the International Journalism Review, Sunday Night Football lost 2.2 million viewers in 2017. Monday night viewers dropped from 12.3 million viewers to 10.9.  Including the plethora of empty seats in some stadiums, the league lost a direct amount of over $30 million in 2017.  There are many photos of empty stadium seats available through Google. In September of 2017, an article in Business Insider claimed: 

“Playing at the storied Los Angeles Coliseum, the Rams opened their season in front of roughly 25,000 people in a stadium that can hold almost four times that.”    

The commissioner of the NFL could settle this with an edict to coaches and players. Demonstrate elsewhere, but not on the job. There are hundreds of great players waiting for a chance on the sidelines.

Kaepernick began this bogus movement two years ago, along with the sheep that followed. I would suggest there is more to the story, especially when we see Kaepernick publicly wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with photos of Fidel Castro. In another conference, he praised Fidel Castro and Cuba’s education system without mentioning the horrors Castro bestowed upon millions of Cuban people. While in his football gear, Kaepernick often wore socks depicting pigs wearing with police hats. Where are the bosses?

Kaepernick claims his protests are against police brutality. Except for rare and isolated instances, that is a bogus claim. Sure, a rogue cop will lose it now and then. And according to the FBI, it’s true that blacks comprise 13 percent of the population yet log 31 percent of victims killed by police. Never mind that blacks commit 52 percent of homicides. As per the Bureau of Justice, the criminal offending rate among blacks is seven times higher than for whites.

Perhaps Kaepernick needs to address real problems within black communities which get ignored: Black on black crime.

He should also remember, when he or his family are ever in great peril, the first person he’ll call will be a cop.


Nike will pay for supporting Kaepernick



  1. JustMw September 10, 2018 at 10:21 am #

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. Stop denigrating police, who along with our military, really are among the public servants who truly have made sacrifices.
    We watch sporting events or entertainment of any kind for just that – entertainment.
    While they are entitled to free speech, we don’t care what their politics are and don’t want to hear about them when we’re trying to enjoy sports and other entertainment.

    That goes for movie stars, too. Stop ruining tv and movies with your bias, hatred, and politics. We haven’t been to the movies in years because we don’t want to fund those anti-American, anti-American military, racist celebrity causes.

  2. Lil Sis September 10, 2018 at 10:32 am #

    Great article! I will no longer buy Nike, they are a disgrace!

  3. Rico September 10, 2018 at 10:33 am #

    As usual, right on the money Marshall. I believe the primary problem for blacks is the single parent homes, where youth go wrong early in their lives, due to a lack of male guidance. This should be an area that the football players concentrate rather that to disrespect our Nation!

    The decision by Nike to use a divisive, unpopular person like Kaepernick as the face of the franchise, has to go down as one of the most ignorant business decisions in business history!

  4. Donald September 10, 2018 at 10:35 am #

    What an extraordinarily candid, accurate and empathetic article about a current issue of great importance. I’m afraid Kaepernick is sending a truly dangerous message to the young people of our nation and the gutless owners/managers of the NFL are doing nothing to help the situation. Kaepernick has every right to publicly protest anything he wishes to protest, but not on the NFL dime. The owners should tell their players they cannot protest while wearing NFL uniforms and/or on NFL property. If they do, there will be severe consequences, such as losing their jobs. Then, to be effective, there must be quick owner reaction to players who choose to ignore the owner’s edict. There should also be quick public reaction. The public should boycott teams who are allowed to “take a knee” during the national anthem.

  5. Olive Detering September 10, 2018 at 10:42 am #


  6. Charlie Greene September 10, 2018 at 10:43 am #

    Couldn’t agree with you more on Today’s column. I have already fired off a letter of protest to NIKE informing them that I have bought my last NIKE product.Don’t remember when that was because I S=stopped buying NIKE shoes way back when the paid Michael Jordan about 6 million dollars while paying Chinese children the equalitive of pennies

  7. Christopher Jones September 10, 2018 at 11:05 am #

    The issue moved me to purchase a new pair of New Balance shoes, which in my case are made in Maine. You can specify shoes Made in the USA on New Balance’s web site, and I did just that.
    On the day before one of the most horrendous attacks on our country, your op-ed could not be better timed. Frankly, I hope Nike goes out of business.

  8. Gerald R. September 10, 2018 at 11:10 am #

    Great article. I couldn’t agree more.

  9. Joe P. September 10, 2018 at 11:14 am #

    Well said love the numbers at the end !

    No Nike products for me or my family either.

  10. Eileen September 10, 2018 at 11:38 am #

    You are absolutely correct, Marshall. Unfortunately, I think Nike’s losses will be short-lived; we’ve all heard the expression “how quickly they forget,” and I suspect that before long consumers will return to their “currently former” favorite brand of sports gear. I know I sound cynical, but I’ve lost faith in average American’s to do the right things. In spite of all the fuss about sports players being disrespectful, is the sports industry really losing a lot of money???

  11. Tom Ford September 10, 2018 at 11:50 am #

    Mr Frank, you column hit home. Excellent. Right on!

    Thomas Ford

    Vietnam veteran

  12. Charles Pierce September 10, 2018 at 11:52 am #

    No good deed goes unpunished. This is killing the golden goose. Mr. Kaepernick actions are protesting the wrong thing. Of the 900 people shot by police in the line of duty only about 65 were African-Americans. One person shot by the police is one to many but that is the society we live in. If Mr. Kaepernick wishes to protest, he should be protesting the 6000+ gun murder of African-American young men by other African-America young men. I also understand the the clearance rate for these murders is about 20%, it must stop.

  13. Jack Milavic September 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

    Excellent article and yes I burned my two pairs of Nikes.

    Observation of hypocrisy to share:

    Recently many protested against the Confederate flags because it represented slavery. Considering slavery was strongly supported by Democrats why not demonstrations against the party that supported and enhanced slavery?

  14. Jeffrey M. Minick September 10, 2018 at 12:49 pm #


    This is the best response to the whole Nike/Kaepernick affair that I’ve read. You’ve hit every point. I’m really glad you brought up the free speech issue. HE’S AN EMPLOYEE! What don’t people get about that?

    Always my best to you,

  15. Anonymous September 10, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

    I have lived in Oregon for over 40 years as a New York transplant. Oregon is a far left political society and Nike fits in like a glove. I will never understand why successful business people think that mixing politics or religion into their business makes any sense.

    Nike has made a purely stupid move but it’s not their first. In spite of my distaste for what they have done I hope they will re-think “stupid” and drop Kapernick like a hot rock.

    Excellent message Marshall.

  16. PATRICK PESCE September 10, 2018 at 3:35 pm #

    Bravo article. I will follow in the footsteps of your son and never buy a pair of Nike shoes or anything Nike. They can stick all their wares up their Colin!

  17. jkr September 10, 2018 at 4:35 pm #

    I wonder what influence his girlfriend, Nessa Diab, had on his thinking.

    She was raised in Saudi Arabia and on one podcast said:

    “When 9/11 happened, it didn’t surprise me at all,” Diab said on the Guy Code Podcast. “’Wow. Mmkay. This is what we went through, probably, every couple months.’”

    Football star, Ray Lewis, said that Kaepernick was about to be rehired to play when Ms. Diab came out with a tweet/picture.

  18. Anonymous September 10, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

    Thank you Mr Franks. As usual well done.
    Ray Wood

  19. Joe M September 10, 2018 at 9:39 pm #

    Excellent writing as usual Marshall. I quit watching the NFL after 4 members of the Rams entered the field with their arms in the air saying “Hands Up – Don’t Shoot” after the Darren Wilson shooting of robbery subject Michael Brown. That was proven to be a false narrative by three different investigations, including one by the most biased Attorney General in our nations history! I believe that is where Kaepernick got his motivation to disrespect the nation, and the nations symbol.

    Unless and until the Commissioner and the Owners demand their “employees” follow an acceptable code of conduct, the NFL can shrivel up and die before I’ll spend a nickel of my money, and a minute of my time in support of their game.

    In closing, is it only me who noticed that not a single one of these overpaid dissenters devoted a minute of their time to fight injustice between the Super Bowl and the opening game last Thursday?? What a bunch of bul_ _ it!!

  20. reality September 10, 2018 at 9:54 pm #

    Wow! Growing up Catholic, I learned kneeling was a sign of respect, of submission. Much later, I remember Bubba Smith leaving the huge Michigan stadium, appalled at all the cheering for football players, saying doctors, scientists, and others who do good for mankind, should be the ones being praised. I also remember Kate Smith singing “God Bless America”, which should be our anthem. The tune of the one we have, is a limerick. How respectful is that?

    • JKR September 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

      Take a look at when it was written and the circumstances in which it was written and even you might see how respectful it is.

      Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” is a great. Watch “Yankee Doodle Dandy” for a great patriotic movie. Stand and appreciate the “Star Spangled Banner” to show respect for our country.

  21. Cliff September 10, 2018 at 10:18 pm #

    The commercial was played yesterday, the opening day of the 2018 NFL season. Actually, I thought it’s a pretty cool commercial.

    “My issue with ex-player, multi-millionaire Kaepernick is not about his entitlements to protest. It’s about abusing his constitutional rights by wrongfully denigrating the very nation that has given him those freedoms by being American.”

    If Kaepernick indeed has First Amendment rights, then that right includes portesting (“denigrate” is your pejorative term) the United States. Because he has “made it” under the system doesn’t mean he can’t protest the system. That wouldn’t be much of a right if that was the rule would it? And because you think he is “wrongfully denigrating” does not mean that you are right and he is wrong.

    You’re not black and did not grow up black in this country and did not suffer the crass discrimination that set blacks behind the economic 8-ball, not to mention the continued disparate treatment from law enforcement extant to this very day.

  22. Cliff September 10, 2018 at 10:24 pm #

    Yet another example of institutional racism. All is NOT right, NOT equal in the United States. The fact that some think that blacks “have come a long way” does translate to equal treatment. “A long way” is NOT “they’re there.”

  23. Don Carey September 11, 2018 at 8:30 am #

    You nailed it again, Marshall, by going right to the heart of the issue. If professional athletes are truly concerned about police brutality, they should start a dialogue with their local law enforcement agencies and learn the facts. But, wait a minute, that might require some investment on their part…oh, never mind…

  24. Max September 11, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

    You’ve missed the mark again, Marshall… keeping the streak alive!

    Kaepernick is not protesting the anthem or the flag; he is protesting the injustice that is still fueled by race in this country.

  25. reality September 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm #

    The Star Spangled Banner was written by a man whose family were long-time slave owners. “A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons”
    by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor Paul Jenninngs was a slave in the White House, whose own diary is on the web. He was about 14? in 1812, and it was he who had helped set out dinner for the President and Dolly, before they had to flee. The Brits ate it. After James Madison died, Dolly sold Jennings wife and children to a plantation owner in another state.
    America was NOT “the Land of the Free”, then. Read the second verse. Read about the slave market in Georgetown, where “excess” slaves were bought by traders, who often marched them to New Orleans, Natchez, etc., after all the native Americans had been removed from East of the Mississippi. “When Labor was Capital”, I think is another book that tells how slaves reproducing increased the supply of money for a whole lot of slave owners, like Georgetown College, e.g.

  26. Ron Fischer September 13, 2018 at 5:58 pm #

    I can’t wait for the book on a perfect society to come out. In the meantime Nike would have done much better to use Pat Tillman in their commercial.

  27. paul zecchino September 16, 2018 at 10:16 pm #

    It’s all of a piese, isn’t it? Twenty years ago, talk radio host Shuk Harder regularly exposed NIKE’s slave faktories.They were moved from one country to the next, always looking to pay their help pennies per day.

    My doctor recommended New Balanse for the Daily Forsed Hike. Made in Amerika, they’re reasonably prised, well made, and go many miles.

    NIKE is going the political statement/SJW route, good for them. We’re all tired of these misfits who insist that we all relive the late 60s. Bad enough the first time, no desire to revisit that destructive era.

    Thank you for bearing with the k substitutions for the letter ‘see’, the key is inop. Waiting for new keyboard to arrive.

  28. reality September 18, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Pat Tillman was killed by American troops. Then Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld chose to make up a different tale. Even Tillman’s parents were deceived and outraged. I think the mother wrote a book about him.
    “Hidden Figures” tells how it was for Blacks in 1963 Virginia.
    “The Free State of Jones”, with Matthew McCougahy is another you might want to watch.
    And 9/11/2001? Just look at the photos in “Triple Cross” by Peter Lance

  29. Anthony Frigo September 18, 2018 at 6:10 pm #

    It’s good to see a company stand up for something other than profits.
    Given American’s sell out Amereica everyday buying products from China ,because they will save a few pennies,and they call themselves patriots. Patriotism for American’s are as far as their wallets. What HYPOCRITES. Nike should have shown a bunch of white policemen shooting an unarmed Black and the racist would be buying every
    Nike shoe in the store.

  30. Edward A. Hensley September 18, 2018 at 6:32 pm #

    Playing catch up on your blogs Marshall. I need to check your site more often.
    I agree, Nike and the NFL will pay for mixing PC Politics with Business. I quit
    watching NFL games last year. However while channel surfing, I came across
    the LA Rams opener. TV Camera’s were avoiding the stands. I saw 1 short
    shot of a nearly empty section that the camera quickly cut back to the field. I
    watched another 5 minutes, with no shots of the stands, even on breaks.

    Your blog here explains why:

    “Playing at the storied Los Angeles Coliseum, the Rams opened their season in
    front of roughly 25,000 people in a stadium that can hold almost four times that.”

    I disagree with anyone who thinks the self inflicted damage to Nike and the NFL
    will fade quickly & it will soon be Pro Football as usual again. The NFL already
    has their hands full with Brain Damage Claims, by scores of former NFL Players.

    The abject stupidity of this PC Crap by the NFL is that people who support Colin
    make up far less of football fans, than we who protest his insulting our Flag. If
    Nike and the NFL continue to double down, I predict a 20% loss in gross revenue.

    Stick around folks, this Wind Bag Vietnam Veteran, will forgive and forget Nike
    and the NFL’s aiding and abetting the insulting of our U.S. Flag just about as
    soon as I and tens of thousands of Veterans forgive Hanoi Jane Fonda.

    On a closing note: College Football Looks Great in 2018! GO NAVY!

  31. Ron Fischer September 19, 2018 at 12:37 am #


  32. reality September 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm #

    If Jane Fonda had not gone to Vietnam, how many more names of dead Americans would be on that Wall? Have you seen it? I’m very sorry that you had to go there, but all I can think of is all those killed and wounded, because this “…land of the brave…”, was so afraid of Communism. We did not trust in God then, and even now, as we have become an even more stronger and wealthier country than any other country on earth, and as we buy almost everything made in the People’s Republic of China, we’re STILL afraid of Communism? Roger Goodell “earns” $40 million a year, working for a non-profit organization, and you’re mad at a guy who kneels? What’s the salary of that Navy coach you’re cheering for? Way more than the ensign or G.I. Joe, I bet. Did you read what Tommy Johns wrote in the latest AARP magazine?