BEAVERTON, Ore. — Nike has issued a public apology to the military community after creating an advertisement featuring the text “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” over a picture of a football player who is not a military veteran, sources confirmed today.
“We completely forgot that the only sacrifice that means anything is that of our brave men and women in uniform,” Nike CEO Mark Parker wrote in a tweet on Thursday, days after a backlash erupted over an ad campaign that featured Colin Kaepernick.
“I failed to remember that until I saw a meme where conservatives appropriated the image of fallen warrior Pat Tillman’s face in our ad instead of Kaepernick’s. It highlighted how mutually exclusive their two sacrifices are and emphasized the military monopoly on sacrifice.”
When reached for further comment, Parker also cited the success of images and videos on social media protesting Nike’s ad by showing service members cutting the Nike swoosh logo off their apparel.
“It’s a well-known fact that companies can’t bear to watch customers disrespect their symbol,” he told reporters. “To put it into perspective, it’s almost as painful for us to witness as it is for others to see someone kneel during the national anthem.”
Parker followed up with another tweet after his original apology was well received.
“Thank you for leveraging the image of a deceased hero to remind Nike and its leadership of the only manifestation of bravery and expression of patriotism, which is service in the armed forces. I’m sure Corporal Tillman would appreciate you speaking up on his behalf in a hotly debated topic like this.”