Colin Kaepernick made a fantastic career move when he opted to kneel during the national anthem. Few people remember that at the time Kaepernick took a knee, he had been benched.

That is, he was doing so poorly, his coach decided the second-string quarterback was the better option.

A second-string quarterback named Blaine Gabbert.

Now, both of these men are fantastic athletes. They just aren’t among the best NFL quarterbacks. It’s really, really hard to play quarterback in the NFL. The fact is, quarterback is the toughest position to play in any team sport.

Having said all that – and what everyone forgets today – is that Kaepernick was having a terrible season. He was not very good when he got benched. And that’s why that guy named Blain Gabbert replaced him.

Of course, that’s not what you hear today. Today all we hear is how great he was. And yes, he did have one very good season. But the mantra from the talking heads today is that Kaepernick would be an NFL star if coaches, including apparently the black coaches, weren’t all such racists.

It’s all hogwash.

But while Kaepernick may not be a great NFL quarterback, he is a business maven. When he took a knee, Kaepernick set himself up for life.

His grand knee-standing got the former NFL quarterback loads and loads of publicity – not to mention millions of dollars from Nike for standing up for social justice while kneeling.

That by itself is just too rich.

The people at Nike pay Kaepernick millions to pump their products in a preachy way. Not only does that give them loads of free publicity, but it makes them so much better than the rest of us.

At the same time they push their overpriced products, they can preach about social-justice-equality-bad-cops-racism-etc.-etc. - and how bad you and I really are.

More hogwash.

At the same time the millionaires at Nike pay Kaepernick more millions for preachy advertising, they hire a company that uses slave labor.

You read that right. Slave labor. And they do this while supporting reparations in this country.

You cannot make this up.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute issued a report in March that Chinese companies use slave labor to make products for U.S. companies. Nike is one of those companies. But they are not alone in exploiting people for profit.

Apple, General Motors and Gap were also identified as U.S. companies benefitting from slave labor.

We’ve all read about how the Chinese government treats the Uyghurs. We’ve seen reports – and photos – of massive concentration camps. There are reports of horrible conditions, massive abuse, forced sterilization and murder.

When it comes to slavery, the Chinese have perfected things. To increase efficiency and profits, they sell children in lots of 100 to Chinese factory owners to make things for other companies.

Companies like Nike.

As it turns out, Nike hired a company called Quindao to make shoes. The very same shoes, perhaps, named for that great social justice warrior, Colin Kaepernick.

Earlier this year it was reported that Qunadao had 600 Uyghurs making Nike shoes. Call it a guess, but it seems unlikely these Uyghurs took those jobs because of the medical coverage and vacation time.

The company now claims that since the report was published it has sent all of those Uyghurs “away” – whatever that means.

Maybe they did. Maybe they didn’t. It’s China. They lie. All the time.

But what we do know is Kaepernick continues to cash really, really big checks – partly made possible with slave labor – while preaching to the rest of us about social justice.

The other thing we know is Nike executives continue to cash really, really big checks – partly made possible with slave labor – while preaching to the rest of us about social justice.

And reparations.

At the risk of being preachy – why does anyone still buy Nike products?

DAN HAMMES is publisher of the Gazette Record.

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