Listen to Franck Tayou:
I saw a brief story on my Facebook Feed today that the MASL hasn't decided what to do with its suspended season. What? I thought they were done. I saw that Franck Tayou had won his 4th MVP Trophy as I was looking around the MASL website, so I had assumed that they were calling it a year. I also noticed that the MASL had blacked out their profile picture for Blackout Tuesday. The MASL's best player had also taken to twitter in support of Black Lives Matter.
Why don't you know about Franck Tayou? Because Nike hasn't marketed him to you.
Do you realize how little sponsorship money MASL players make? Back in 2017, Turf and Boards asked Franck Tayou what type of shoes he preferred and he answered "Joma." Other MASL players answered in the same article that they were paid to wear Nike shoes not in cash, but in product. Meaning they got free shoes in exchange for endorsements.]
Listen to Eric Reed:
Eric Reid was one of the first to kneel with Colin Kaepernick. He also shared in some of the collusion settlement money from the NFL with Kaepernick. Cut by the Panthers during the coronavirus outbreak, Eric Reid was rated the 15th best free agent available to clubs by ProFootballFocus.com. Last year, Reid complained that he had been drug tested an inordinate amount of times in retribution for kneeling and (as of last year), he has stated that he will continue to kneel for the "movement."
Why don't you know about Eric Reid? Because Nike hasn't marketed him to you.
Listen to Gyree Durante:
Gyree Durante knelt in 2017 at Division III Albright College and was dismissed from the team. Since then he has literally disappeared from the internet. I believe I found him on Facebook and he appears to be out of football.
Gyree paid the price for kneeling. Why don't you know about Gyree? Because Nike hasn't marketed him to you.
Why doesn't LeBron take a knee? The NBA said it was bad for the business of the league.....
You know what, instead of attacking LeBron, let's use LeBron as part of the solution. LeBron can keep playing basketball until he's 40 and then call it a day on his terms. He has already proven himself to be savvy businessman, let's move him into the business world.
After retirement, LeBron will have had a 20+ year relationship with Nike. Instead of moving into an NBA front office as a General Manager, which I'm sure he could do, why doesn't Nike just go ahead and make LeBron the CEO of the company? And not at a cut-rate price, either, Nike needs to pay LeBron equal to, or more than, outgoing CEO John Donahoe.
LeBron's first order of business? Make a commitment to Urban Centers in the United States. Nike prides itself on its transparency, it shouldn't because their reality is shameful. Nike has 533 factories in 41 countries. ZERO in the United States.
CEO James will start by committing 10% of factories and 10% of Nike's production workforce to the United States. Not crappy minimum wage jobs, but livable wage manufacturing jobs. And don't put those factories in the suburbs, put them in places like Cleveland, Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Los Angeles.
How does that end racism you ask? Great question.
You put the factories in predominantly black neighborhoods and then commit to hiring locally. Bring some of the Chinese Managers over to transition workers, then hire local black managers to replace the Chinese once they return to their country. Hire those white collar black professionals. Once you put that into play, challenge other manufacturing companies to the 10% Challenge.
What you'd be doing is rebuilding black neighborhoods from the ground up. Once you have an anchor plant like a Nike Factory, you are shoring up your tax base, thus making it easier to recruit black professionals like policemen or firemen instead of reaching out to the suburbs. Once a few manufacturing companies move in, chain restaurants and other support businesses will start returning to areas that have been previously abandoned. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Now you're arguing that I still haven't solved racism. What the LeBron Plan does is lays a foundation for future black families. It is a real solution for a real problem. Once black neighborhoods become more stable, racist perceptions will ebb as the old white racists die off and black communities begin to rebound.
Right now what's happening is that a few black athletes are becoming richer by marketing that America is racist. It doesn't matter if it is or it's not, Nike's target demographic believes that it is, so they shell out big bucks to stick it to the man, not realizing that they are perpetuating the circle of big business. Does Nike really solve neighborhood problems now? No, they make slogans that YOU need to be part of the change and, oh by the way, please buy our over-priced gear.
If you're going to market to young black men, show young black men that you are committed to their community with jobs and you're just not exploiting them for their tennis shoe money.
There is real racism out there and real problems in America. Make sure you listen to real stories on the ground, not what a corporation is selling you. Remember, if solutions were easy, we would have done them already.