How Far We’ve Come

Anniversary of 9-11, Some People Just Don’t Get It 

Flight 93 Memorial

Mike Rowe was asked about Kaepernick and Nike. Rather than bloviating at length, he choose the words of somebody who is no longer available to speak, to make his point.

Mike Rowe responds to Nike picking Kaepernick with a POWERFUL Facebook post
Compare and Contrast

Mike Rowe used Tom Burnett as an example of what sacrifice means. While Tom’s words may live on, he is unavailable for personal appearances. He and the other passengers on flight 93 died in a Pennsylvania field. This was not the ending the hijackers planned. Burnett and some of his fellow passengers put a stop to those plans. Here is a transcript of Burnett’s cell phone conversation with his wife.

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?
Deena: No, they don’t know if they’re commercial airlines or not. The news reporters are speculating cargo planes, private planes and commercial. No one knows.
Tom: How many planes are there?
Deena: They’re not sure, at least three. Maybe more.
Tom: O.K….O.K….Do you know who is involved?
Deena: No.
Tom: We’re turning back toward New York. We’re going back to the World Trade Center. No, wait, we’re turning back the other way. We’re going south.
Deena: What do you see?
Tom: Just a minute, I’m looking. I don’t see anything, we’re over a rural area. It’s just fields. I’ve gotta go.

6:45 a.m. Third cell phone call from Tom to Deena

Tom: Deena
Deena: Tom, you’re O.K. (I thought at this point he had just survived the Pentagon plane crash).
Tom: No, I’m not.
Deena: They just hit the Pentagon.
Tom: (tells people sitting around him “They just hit the Pentagon.”)
Tom: O.K….O.K. What else can you tell me?
Deena: They think five airplanes have been hijacked. One is still on the ground. They believe all of them are commercial planes. I haven’t heard them say which airline, but all of them have originated on the east coast.
Tom: Do you know who is involved?
Deena: No
Tom: What is the probability of their having a bomb on board? I don’t think they have one. I think they’re just telling us that for crowd control.
Deena: A plane can survive a bomb if it’s in the right place.
Tom: Did you call the authorities?
Deena: Yes, they didn’t know anything about your plane.
Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane into the ground. We have to do something. I’m putting a plan together.
Deena: Who’s helping you?
Tom: Different people. Several people. There’s a group of us. Don’t worry. I’ll call you back.

6:54 a.m. Fourth cell phone call to Tom to Deena

Deena: Tom?
Tom: Hi. Anything new?
Deena: No
Tom: Where are the kids?
Deena: They’re fine. They’re sitting at the table having breakfast. They’re asking to talk to you.
Tom: Tell them I’ll talk to them later.
Deena: I called your parents. They know your plane has been hijacked.
Tom: Oh…you shouldn’t have worried them. How are they doing?
Deena: They’re O.K.. Mary and Martha are with them.
Tom: Good.

(a long quiet pause)

Tom: We’re waiting until we’re over a rural area. We’re going to take back the airplane.
Deena: No! Sit down, be still, be quiet, and don’t draw attention to yourself! (The exact words taught to me by Delta Airlines Flight Attendant Training).
Tom: Deena! If they’re going to crash this plane into the ground, we’re going to have do something!
Deena: What about the authorities?
Tom: We can’t wait for the authorities. I don’t know what they could do anyway.
It’s up to us. I think we can do it.
Deena: What do you want me to do?
Tom: Pray, Deena, just pray.

(after a long pause)

Deena: I love you.
Tom: Don’t worry, we’re going to do something…

Nike searched long and hard and found somebody who represented their ideal of sacrifice. Is this a corporate culture worthy of patronage?

Where is the sacrifice?

Kaepernick, you may remember, was a second string quarterback. The guy toweling off the footballs on the sidelines got his hands on a game ball more often that Kaepernick. Every Sunday, Kaepernick risked debilitating injury. Sitting on hard benches can lead to hemorrhoids. 

Since a lack of talent was a barrier to the fame and fortune that he sought, Kaepernick chose another route, controversy. Thus was born taking a knee during the National Anthem. Kaepernick now spends more time on his knees that the average bathhouse queen. This move resulted in a change of seating arrangements, but not his participation in the sport. No longer would he watch games from a hard bench in all sorts of weather. He could do it in the climate controlled comfort of his living room.

It is true he lost his NFL salary. However, he renegotiated his Nike contract and parlayed it into millions. This according to Charles Robinson, writing for Yahoo sports.

Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reports that Kaepernick will have his own branded line of gear including shoes, shirts, jerseys and more. He also says that Kaepernick’s deal is a “star” deal worth millions per year and includes royalties on sales.

Where is the sacrifice? Step back even further, where is the noble cause? The whole premise of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is based on a false narrative. The reality is that cops do make mistakes. That being said, the majority of patron saints of the BLM movement were felons engaged in criminal activity. They had a choice to make and made the wrong one. Their community is a better place due to their bad choice. 

I guess it is a sign of the times. Styles change. Bad is good. Boys can be girls and girls can be boys, based on a whim. Mental illness is to be celebrated rather than treated. Scoundrels are heroes and heroes are scoundrels. One thing is certain though, the passengers on Flight 93 will never change.