“Don’t Republicans Buy Sneakers Too?”
Why Isn’t the Michael Jordan Rule Stopping the Relentless Onslaught of Woke Insanity?
By Richard Allen – April 24, 2023
At the start, I’m sure that you’re all wondering: “What is the Michael Jordan Rule?” The Michael Jordan Rule is my personal adaptation of a quotable comment made by Michael Jordan in 1990 that I have used in a Marketing class I taught at a local college. The comment (according to Jordan himself) was made on a Chicago Bulls team bus to several of his teammates returning from a game. Michael’s comment was: “Don’t Republicans Buy Sneakers Too?” and was the response he gave to his mother, who had asked him to do a Public Service Ad (PSA) for a Black Senatorial candidate from South Carolina named Harvey Gant. As Jordan has tried to explain since then, his comment was made in jest. Even so, Michael did not do the PSA for Harvey Gant, but rather, gave him a contribution for his losing bid to unseat Jessie Helms. This quote by Michael has reached a wide audience since the Netflix / ESPN production of, “The Last Dance” in 2020. This 10-part mini-series chronicled the twilight of Jordan’s Basketball career during 1997-1998.
Even without Michael’s explanation, the inference that his comment makes is plain: “Why, if I’m trying to be a success selling Air Jordans and other NIKE apparel with my name on it, would I alienate at least 50% of my possible customers by making a political statement?” If I remember correctly, Harvey Gant was accusing Jessie Helms (a life-long Democrat until he changed parties), of being a racist, and Harvey wanted Michael to do the same. But Michael, who was more interested in “marketing his NIKE products,” understood the “no-win-situation” he would be in, by endorsing one side in a highly inflammatory senate race. As I told my students on more than one occasion, from a Marketing perspective, if there is no upside, then don’t say anything. This should be the standard across all industries, as Laura Ingraham’s book title from several years ago aptly said: Shut Up And Sing. So, to Sports Stars and Entertainers who believe their talents or pretty faces give them a mandate to tell us what they think about Abortion, Radical Environmentalism, or whether a man can become a woman just by saying so, our answer is: Shut up and sing!
Sadly, it doesn’t appear that many in Corporate America have learned this lesson. Over the past several years, we’ve seen “guilty corporations,” desperate to deflect criticism from the Left for their heartless greed, line up to pour millions of dollars into Black Lives Matter – a Marxist Front Group controlled by 3 individuals who have banked millions and bought mansions with no regard for the plight of anyone in the inner city. For BLM, it’s just a “shake-down-racket,” perfected by Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. For the “semi-woke” corporations, it’s a way to buy protection, while alleviating their guilt. You would think that the lessons of the last few years would dissuade the corporate world from going woke, but it hasn’t. The recent adage: “Get Woke, Go Broke,” is still basically true, but for some strange reason many in the corporate board rooms of the United States are still intent on proving this adage true.
During the 2016 presidential election cycle, a former starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ERS, Colin Kaepernick, unhappy about his dwindling fortunes in the NFL, started “kneeling” during the playing of the National Anthem. What’s so ironic is, there is no evidence that Kaepernick had ever suffered from racism in any form. He was raised in an affluent family, went to the best schools, got a lucrative NFL contract that made him a millionaire and rose to the highest level of his potential. Notwithstanding, feeling slighted by the measly $8 million dollar contract extension he was offered by the 49ERS, instead of the mega-payday that he thought he was worthy of, Colin began his protest and sent shock waves through the NFL. Numerous other millionaire NFL athletes joined in the disgrace, leading to widespread boycotts by fans. Dwindling TV revenue cost the NFL hundreds of millions, yet they kept up the charade, with some millionaire stars comparing the NFL draft to the Slave Auctions before the Civil War! While this might have seemed like a good idea, the NFL forgot who their customers were. Don’t Republicans buy Sneakers too?
We middle Americans don’t want the “woke-gospel” shoved down our throats, this is apparent everywhere. A recent example was “Woke-Disney” offering a gay Buzz Lightyear character doing a “same-sex” kiss with another animated character in the movie. Even with all the marketing fanfare they could muster, “Lightyear” managed only $55 Million worldwide on its opening weekend. Compare that to the recent “Mario Brothers Movie” earning almost $420 Million worldwide on its opening weekend. People worldwide don’t want “woke-politics” forced into children’s movies. And a majority of parents who are raising children are not interested in confusing young children by trying to make LGBT perversion seem normal. Woke politics does not belong in entertainment offered to little children. Why poke your finger in the eye of more than half of your potential customers, and offend parents who are raising children to live in traditional roles as mandated by their creator? Don’t Republicans buy Sneakers too?
But the most recent violator of my “Michael Jordan Rule” is Anheuser-Busch, the mother company of Budweiser and Bud Light beers. In an effort to “go woke,” Bud Light featured “Tik-Tok famous” transgender star Dylan Mulvaney. It seems that Anheuser-Busch was oblivious of who the customers were who bought their products. Turns out that using a man (who is still biologically a man) pretending to be a woman, to market beer to the millions of beer-drinking men, wasn’t a good marketing campaign. While the company doubled down, Anheuser-Busch stock took a 6 Billion dollar loss. So the question has to be asked: “Why do corporations in our current woke-environment keep making the same blunders? If the Michael Jordan Rule faithfully punishesthem in the marketplace, why do they still “go woke?”
While some claim that “going woke doesn’t make you broke,” the wisdom of the Michael Jordan Rule still stands. Again, what is there to gain by offending a big part of your customer base – the heterosexual-straights? Shouldn’t companies want to be competitive in all segments of the marketplace? The answer is a bit more complicated than “of course they want to make money.” The truth is, everyone wants to be accepted, loved and thought of as cool and enlightened, just as much as they want to make money. These woke corporations are saying: “Even if we lose money, we’ll still do it because the Media-Entertainment complex will accept us, and think we’re so cool. And besides, we don’t care if those hateful Republicans buy our Sneakers!” Crazy as it sounds, they sure seem to be full of hate for everyone who doesn’t accept their perverse views. Apparently, being straight, Christian and married is a“Diverse Option That They Just Can’t Include!”
We should all know that the real reason is because of man’s darkened heart and failure to acknowledge God:
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:26-31).
The first part of my answer is the spiritual side. Because mankind turned away from God, He gave men and women up to degrading (perverse) passions. And in our defiant rebellion against God and His Law, we feel justified when we get someone else to participate with us. Notice verse Romans 1:32 above says: “they not only commit sexual sin, but give approval to others who do the same.” We live in sorry times in which virtue and decency are scorned while perversion and evil are extoled. The Media-Entertainment complex, made up of perverse men and women who take delight in their own sin, have now created a culture in which sexual perversion is considered hip and cool. And it’s clear that even if they lose money in the short run, in the long run they HAVE CHANGED THE CULTURE DRASTICALLY! The culture is now so blatantly “anti-Christian,” it’s cool to be “woke, perverted and strange.” And as we all know, EVERYONE WANTS TO BE CONSIDERED COOL! And today our corporate board rooms are full of people who want to be cool. Often, they call it “CSR,” or Corporate Social Responsibility, but it’s still just another way to make their sin appear right.
There is another part to this answer. Over the past decade or more, companies have turned from “Equal Opportunity” based on Race and Gender and have turned “Diversity and Inclusion” into a call to protect sexual perversion. So, in corporate-speak, this really means the hip and cool LGBT crowd. Virtually every Fortune 500 company has a whole department whose sole purpose is to recruit, promote and elevate that which is abnormal and perverse. And they fall all over themselves to show “how accepting they are of every kind of perverse abomination.” At the most, less than 1% of the entire population of the United Sates identifies as Transgender, yet in order to show themselves as progressive and caring, employers all across this once great land delight in promoting that which is perverse, immoral and against the Law of God. Let me leave you with two Biblical admonitions regarding this woke agenda:
“A woman shall not wear a man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 22:5).
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
The good news is, Jesus came into the world to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), not in their sins!