I had hoped it was a one-off event, but it seems that one of the dumbest trends of the United States has shifted to politics. Let me just start by making my stance very simple:
Stop buying stuff just to burn it. It isn’t proving your point. You are simply wasting money.
The first time I remember seeing this idiotic trend was in 2010. NBA star LeBron James announced he would be moving from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat. Justifiably, Cavaliers fans were crushed. Their best player — and local hero — was headed to another city.
Sales of James’ jersey skyrocketed, and when he returned for his first game against Cleveland with the Heat, Cleveland fans burned his jersey. Many burned jerseys they’d had since he played at Cleveland, and many bought a jersey just for the purpose of burning it.
I understand that they were upset, but what did they really gain? An NBA jersey isn’t cheap — especially one adorned with the name of one of the league’s best players. And they weren’t “sticking it” to James in any way, other than symbolically.
The trend stayed in sports, but edged closer to the political realm when former San Francisco ‘49ers fans — and just disgruntled people in general — began burning Colin Kaepernick’s jersey. This time because he knelt in protest during the national anthem. Again, some burned jerseys they already had, showing they were no longer a fan. Other went out and paid hundreds for a jersey just to burn it and “send a message.”
The most extreme case I saw came this year, caused by much the same reason. Following a nearly league-wide protest by NFL players where some entire teams knelt before or during the national anthem, one man posted a video to Facebook of him burning a full set of 2017 Indianapolis Colts season tickets.
The man said he thought about selling or giving away his tickets, but decided he wouldn’t because those seats would just get re-filled.
Well, I have a newsflash for you, sir. The NFL and the Colts office don’t care if those seats are filled. Because you already paid for them for a full season. They already got your money, so burning the ticket books isn’t sending them a message at all. Except may “Hey, NFL, feel free to have my money, but give me nothing in return.”
All that man got was some Facebook likes. Even if they were the cheapest season tickets, he burned $460. More expensive seats go all the way up to $1,480. They got your money. They don’t care.
Recently the madness has continued. Keurig — the coffee maker company — and others recently pulled their advertisements from Sean Hannity’s show following his coverage of allegations against Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore.
Moore has been accused of making sexual advances on teenage girls while in his 30s. Some fans saw Hannity’s coverage as defending the behavior.
When the advertisements were pulled, the videos on Facebook began to spring up. This time, people were smashing their Keurig coffee makers to send a message. But again, Keurig already has your money.
Now obviously I can’t tell anyone what to do with their own property, but I’d like to see this trend stop. If a company does something you absolutely can’t stand and you already have their product, throw it away. Destroy it if you must. But maybe don’t post it on Facebook. If it’s not worth doing if you don’t post it, are you doing it for the right reasons?
And if you don’t already have a jersey, tickets or Keurig, please don’t buy one for the sole purpose of destroying it. It doesn’t prove a point. It puts money in the pockets of those you disagree with. And, honestly, it makes you look really dumb.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.