Approximately two years ago former National Football League (NFL) player Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the presentation of the U.S. flag and the National Anthem in an effort to protest cop brutality and a nation that permits it. He was later joined by other NFL players. It was a slap in the face for all Americans who love America and support the military and first responders.
Americans made it plain that they did not approve of the behavior. Millions of dedicated football fans stopped going to the games or even watching them on television. Many of them even went so far as to burn all their NFL clothing and other objects. Attendance at the games plunged, but NFL leaders and players did not seem to care.
Recently Nike put Kaepernick in the spotlight and made him the face of their “Just Do It” campaign. Once again, Americans acted. The boycott of Nike caused the brand lose billions of dollars in the stock market and a “double-digit drop in favorability.” While Americans fumed and boycotted Nike, one veteran launched a counteroffensive against Nike.
Army Captain (ret.) Tyler Merritt is the CEO of Nine Line Apparel. And they’ve already sold tens of thousands of gear from their “Just Stand” line. One post featured Mark “Oz” Geist, a former U.S. Marine who was part of the Benghazi compound security team, was featured wearing their t-shirt, while carrying an AR-15. He’s an American hero. Period. Four Americans died during that tragic terror attack, which included Ambassador Chris Stevens. It remains a source of controversy from the days of the Obama administration six years ago, which swore that al-Qaeda was on the run.
Nike took a stand. “This is ours,” said Merritt in a statement. “They will never understand what it’s like to lose a friend overseas, carry him back home with an American flag draped over his casket, and hand that flag over to his wife and children. Taking a knee during the National Anthem is a sign of disrespect to all those throughout our country’s history who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure the blessings of freedom.”
The company took its name – Nineline – from “the military code word for getting wounded soldiers off the battlefield.” It started in Merritt’s garage and is now housed in a 60,000-square-foot building. It produces “a complete range of patriotic apparel” and will most likely employ more than 200 people by the end of 2018.
Patriotism is at the heart of Nineline. Their products come in “four basic categories: patriots, veterans, first responders and Second Amendment.” Their shirts have “slogans like `All Rifles Matter’; `Stomp My Flag, I’ll Stomp Your A_ _’; `I stand with the American Flag’; and `Faith, Family, Friends, Flag and Firearms.”
It is good to boycott any individual or company that disrespects Old Glory. It is also good to support those who respect the flag and anthem of our nation. If you are in the market for shirts, please consider purchasing one from Nineline.