3/19/12

Camo For Cash?

You can argue and debate how ugly these Camouflage Jerseys are. I don't find them totally hideous as some do. However, that is not the story here for me. The story starts with the Raptors doing this as a way to honour the Canadian military. Which is something I fully support 100 percent. I had a father that served in the Air Force and he was proud of that fact. The fact is our military is far to often the butt of jokes by people south of the border and even within are own borders. It is great that MLSE has chosen to make people aware of the military and make people more aware of the great things they do. It is also great that 20% of sales of this stuff goes to families of military. However, I am pretty sure the profits from these jersey's is more than 20% and thus that is where my problem begins. The fact that MLSE would make one penny of profit from this turns my stomach. That is your real camouflage here in my view. I am sure some people will point out that likely that 20% that is going to a worthy cause is worth it. However, I find it deplorable to think anyone other than the worthy charity would profit from this. It is a down year for the Raptors and I don't know the numbers on merchandise sales but I would suspect they are down. These unique style of items will likely sell just based on the fact they are different and unique. MLSE is a smart company in terms of business anyone that thinks they are not is crazy. Still, to use the Canadian Military and what on the surface seems like a charitable act of kindness, wrapped in patriotism, is pretty slick marketing. It also makes me sick and angers me. If someone can guarantee me that MLSE would not profit one penny from this it would have my full support. I would even consider purchasing some of it myself. That isn't the case though it would seem, so that leaves me conflicted and angry.

There are people that have given their lives in Canadian Armed Forces. I knew one personally from here in Hamilton. The fact that anyone would use the military even with them getting some and not all of the benefit from it concerns me greatly as person. Should I just be thankfully that they are giving some of the money to a more than worthy cause and bringing attention to a group of people that so richly deserve it? I would like to do that but at the end of the day I see it as a way to camouflage good will and make some money on the side. I can't get past that personally. That all said to debate if these uniforms are ugly or not is totally missing the bigger picture here. It also can spark a real debate on if the armed forces should get tied to sports at all. It is something that has grown a lot over the last 20 years. It is no longer just the good old boys in Nascar that are walking arm and arm with the Armed Forces, it is not just Vince McMahon and the WWE. It is now common place to do so in big time professional sports on a regular basis. As far as that goes I am uncomfortable with it, but because it brings attention to people that deserve it greatly I am able to live with it. Still, if people are doing more than just honouring the brave men and women of the Armed Forces in both Canada and the U.S and are actually profiting from it, that to me is crossing a line. It is a tough subject and I am not sure there is an easy answer to it. Other than to declare up front that every ounce of profit is going to the people who are being used in this and that is Military. When exactly did the military become a great PR move for people. In the end it leaves me conflicted. If you decide to buy this stuff for the good reasons to support the military I would applaud you. If you decided not to based on the fact not all the money was going to where it should I would applaud you as well.

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