Last night was one for the ages.
Bottom of the ninth, tie game, two outs, last at bat of a legendary career at Yankee Stadium, and The Captain came through again with a walk off single.
A perfect ending for one of the greatest athletes of our generation.
Derek Jeter has been the face, heart and soul of the Yankees organization for over two decades. In that time, he became one of the most beloved athletes in New York City history.
Jeter and the Yankees weren’t the only ones to bask in last night’s spotlight, as Jeter’s lastest clutch moment is a huge boost for Nike’s “RE2PECT” campaign.
Nike and the Jordan Brand’s commitment to The Captain during his victory lap is paying off for the brand, and has forever attached them to a memorable moment in sports history. RE2PECT merchandise sold out on Nike.com last night, with a little help from Jeter’s nephew (video below).
The #RE2PECT hashtag was trending worldwide on Twitter and Facebook last night, the commercial has over 8 million YouTube views, and the campaign played a role in boosting Nike’s revenue 15%.
What a career, and what a campaign.
Let’s just say that I’m glad I don’t work in the NFL’s PR department this week.
We are all aware of the Ray Rice and Greg Hardy situations, and now we have Adrian Peterson.
Peterson was indicted last week for disciplining his 4 year old son with a switch, and another case of alleged child abuse, involving a different 4 year old son, also surfaced this week. The Minnesota Vikings decided to deactivate Peterson for last week’s game and were applauded for their course of action.
However, after a 30-7 loss to the Patriots, on Monday the Vikings felt it would be best to reinstate Peterson and allow “due process” to play out. That is…until today, when the team reversed course again and decided to add Peterson to the Commissioner’s Exempt List, which pays Peterson his full salary while he is barred from all team facilities/activities until the resolution of his court case.
Though this should have been the case all along, it took a public reprimanding from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, threats from multiple sponsors and Nike suspending Peterson’s contract to make it happen.
People sometimes question the role of public relations, but this week has shown its massive importance. On one hand, it’s forced the NFL to take the appropriate course of action that may not have happened otherwise. On the other, it may be the NFL’s downfall.
Yesterday was one of the ugliest Mondays in recent sports history. Let’s do a quick recap:
Now, that’s a lot of ugly for one day.
The NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice situation has been dreadful from the beginning, and we shouldn’t be applauding their handling of it now. Yes, the NFL and the Ravens did the right thing, but only after the video was made available to the public, and for fear of public backlash. If that tape never surfaces, Ray Rice is still playing football, and that is a travesty. Ray Rice was cut and suspended because of TMZ, not because the NFL thought it was the appropriate action to take. This should have been the outcome from the beginning.
The country’s second most popular league, the NBA, is facing its second racial controversy of the summer. It began with Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson announcing he would sell his share of the team following the reveal of a racist email he sent in 2012. The email was discovered during an internal investigation launched after several team executives were shocked by Danny Ferry’s comments mentioned above. How Ferry still has a job is unfathomable, and brings a larger question into focus…what is the Atlanta Hawks environment like if he felt comfortable saying racist things on a conference call with his bosses? Surely, we haven’t heard the last of this situation.
Yesterday was an ugly one, but one of the things we love most about sports is redemption. So, here’s to hoping that the sports world redeems itself and reminds us all why we fell in love with it in the first place.
When the photo below of Wes Welker enjoying the Kentucky Derby originally surfaced, it was met with a collective…huh?
Now, it makes a lot more sense. Wes was rolling, and letting the good times roll too. Now, I can’t say that I wouldn’t wear Orange Julius colored fedoras if I was a millionaire, but I definitely wouldn’t be walking around with $25,000 and handing out $100 bills like I was at Magic City. Unless, of course, Molly.
It was announced yesterday that Welker is suspended for the first four games of the season due to his Kentucky Derby shenanigans. Welker’s been know to enjoy a party, so this isn’t a total shock, but it does bring more attention to what seems to be an increasing problem in the NFL.