When former “Dirty Jobs” host and all-around working class advocate Mike Rowe was asked about his thoughts on Nike’s latest ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, he had one answer that almost no American could disagree with:
Rowe said that he would have featured Tom Burnett instead — one of the brave passengers aboard Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.
As most of the Western world knows by now, Nike’s ad features Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, and the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The campaign has caused a firestorm of criticism because of Kaepernick’s role in starting the trend of NFL players protesting the national anthem, which is now entering its third season.
President Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of Kaepernick and other NFL players who decide to kneel during the national anthem. Last year, he launched a social media attack on all players who participated.
The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
Since Nike’s ad campaign kicked off last week, Trump hasn’t let up.
What was Nike thinking?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2018
In an Instagram post published Monday, Rowe also offered his thoughts on Nike’s ad.
Answering a question from a fan about the controversy, Rowe prefaced it by saying Kaepernick is entitled to his opinion.
“Nike’s free to celebrate whomever they wish, and Kaepernick is entitled to his opinion–kneeling, standing, or lying down,” Rowe wrote.
Then he made it clear that Kaepernick wouldn’t have been his choice at all.
“But if I was going to put someone’s face on a billboard – someone who epitomized bravery and sacrifice – I might have gone another way, especially this time of year. I might have gone with this guy – Tom Burnett.”
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“We’re Going to Do Something.” You’ve been very quiet about the Kaepernick PR disaster at Nike. Any thoughts? – Sam Wilder Hi Sam. Nike’s free to celebrate whomever they wish, and Kaepernick is entitled to his opinion – kneeling, standing, or lying down. But if I was going to put someone’s face on a billboard – someone who epitomized bravery and sacrifice – I might have gone another way, especially this time of year. I might have gone with this guy – Tom Burnett. Tom’s last act on earth was one of the most courageous things imaginable. And his last words to his wife, Deena, are among the most inspiring I’ve ever heard. Those exact words are at the top of this page, and the bottom. They were spoken seventeen years ago, under conditions I hope to never experience. I’ll never forget Tom’s last words. I hope you won’t either. Transcript of Tom’s Last Calls to Deena 6:27 a.m.( pacific time) First cell phone call from Tom to Deena Deena: Hello Tom: Deena Deena: Tom, are you O.K.? Tom: No, I’m not. I’m on an airplane that has been hijacked. Deena: Hijacked? Tom: Yes, They just knifed a guy. Deena: A passenger? Tom: Yes. Deena: Where are you? Are you in the air? Tom: Yes, yes, just listen. Our airplane has been hijacked. It’s United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. We are in the air. The hijackers have already knifed a guy, one of them has a gun, they are telling us there is a bomb on board, please call the authorities. He hung up. 6:31 Deena calls 911 6:34 The phone rang in on call waiting, Tom’s second cell phone call. Deena: Hello Tom: They’re in the cockpit. The guy they knifed is dead. Deena: He’s dead? Tom: Yes. I tried to help him, but I couldn’t get a pulse. Deena: Tom, they are hijacking planes all up and down the east coast. They are taking them and hitting designated targets. They’ve already hit both towers of the World Trade Center. Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane. (a pause) Oh my God. It’s a suicide mission…(he then tells people sitting around him) Deena: Who are you talking to? Tom: My seatmate. Do you know which airline is involved? Read more: http://bit.ly/WeareGoingtoDoSomething [Link in bio] #september11 #neverforget #brave
Burnett was aboard the United Airlines Flight 93 that was hijacked by al-Qaida on 9/11.
He was one of the brave passengers who fought back against the terrorists. The plane ended up crashing into a Pennsylvania field instead of killers’ intended target — the nation’s capital, according to The Washington Times. All aboard were killed.
Rowe emphasized Burnett’s courage.
“Tom’s last act on earth was one of the most courageous things imaginable,” Rowe said.
Burnett’s actions epitomized bravery and he will always be remembered as a hero. He would have been a great choice for the ad, especially for a campaign in September.
It is shameful that Nike would use Kaepernick, someone who kneels during the national anthem, over any great hero this country has had.
As Rowe suggested, a hero like Burnett would have been a better choice.
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