Instead of Donating Their Nikes to Homeless Veterans, Americans Are Burning Them

(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) Like clockwork, conservatives are burning Nike products they purchased with their own hard earned money in order to protest what they view as disrespect toward their fragile symbols of American patriotism.

They’ve done it with NFL jerseys during athletes’ widespread kneeling during the national anthem and with Keurig machines after the coffee maker company pulled its ads from Sean Hannity’s show over the pundit’s defense of now-disgraced former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Now they’re upset that Nike stood behind Colin Kaepernick, the pioneer of those protests. Kaepernick has been a Nike athlete for years, but Nike released an ad this week alluding to his protests and subsequent demonization.

Never mind that Nike has for years participated in a pro-military campaign to support the troops. Men’s Health highlighted this last year:

“The Salute to Service is the NFL’s annual military appreciation campaign. Nike partners with the NFL on this initiative, and all proceeds of this jersey (and the rest of the limited edition Salute to Service gear) go to organizations that help out veterans and active duty military members.”

Nope, because the company is standing by an athlete who nonviolently kneeled during the country’s special song, their products must be boycotted. Yet as flag worshippers screech, succumbing to nationalistic triggering and torching perfectly good footwear and clothing to take what they view as a ‘stand,’ they’re missing a huge opportunity to show their respect and support for veterans.

There are tens of thousands of homeless veterans sleeping on the streets of America on any given night. They are veterans of Korea, Vietnam, and the United States’ post-9/11 incursions in the Middle East. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, eleven percent of homeless people in America are veterans. If the government isn’t going to take care of them, it’s likely at least some would benefit far more from a donation of Nike attire than they would from people who claim to support them torching perfectly good footwear.

Vietnam Veterans of America, for example, is a veterans charity that will come to you to pick up clothing for vets in need. lists other charities that will pick up donations, advising the generous public that if they “would like to help veterans,” they can “donate clothes, shoes, furniture, or other household items,” by simply scheduling a pickup with various veterans groups.

Nope, most Americans would rather burn their shoes (instead of giving them to veterans in need) and then spend more money on a new pair of shoes (instead of donating that money to veterans in need).

Further, roughly “12,700 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) were homeless in 2010,” according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. But raging at Nike and NFL players will certainly do more for those soldiers’ well-being than boycotting the military-industrial swamp that keeps creating so many disadvantaged vets in the first place, right?

It’s a good thing patriotic Americans have their priorities in order.

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