I was shocked (and disappointed) to hear the NFL settled with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He sued the league for collusion, claiming they conspired to keep him out for kneeling during the National Anthem. I think it was a mix of him not being a very good quarterback anymore, and the bad press a team would get from having him...out weighed the benefits of having him as a backup. But that’s an argument for another day.
Well, Stephen Martin, who owned a sports merchandise store in Colorado Springs called “Prime Time Sports” was tired of players kneeling during the National Anthem.
So a few years ago when he was scheduled to do an autograph signing with Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, he abruptly cancelled it. He didn’t want Marshall, who had become one of the players that started kneeling, in his shop.
Martin then started asking friends and folks on Facebook, to send photographs of active duty members of the military and veterans. He taped around 4,000 of them on the huge windows in the front of his store.
Martin took things a step further, too. When Nike decided to use Kaepernick in an ad campaign, he decided to stop selling Nike products. That was a rather bold move, considering it was a large portion of what the one sports store in the mall sold.
[side note: it was a smart move of Nike to use Kaepernick, but the wording was idiotic, since they claimed Kaepernick risked everything. He actually risked nothing. He had already made about $25 million, and was a backup QB, when he got involved with a woman who started talking to him about these protests, but I digress].
Without Nike NFL jerseys or T-shirts, as well as shoes...his store went out of business.
Now, in a more upbeat sports story -- there’s Bob Ellis and his baseball memorabilia. His mother-in-law had a collection of Lou Gehrig memorabilia. For Father’s Day, on two different occasions, she told her son-in-law to pick anything he wanted out of her collection. The first time, he picked a hat that the New York Yankees slugger wore. It was too big for his head, so he never wore it. Well, it was recently certified as authentic, and it’s going to be auctioned with Heritage Auctions, and is expected to bring in around $200,000. They say it’s in the best condition of any Gehrig cap they’ve ever seen and looks exactly like it did in the ‘30s. Probably a good thing it didn’t fit his head.
And what’s the other item Ellis picked out? A baseball signed by Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, and Eddie Collins.
They’re expecting the ball to get $20,000 in the auction. I think it will get a lot more.
In 1998, Bob Ellis and his wife got the rest of moms collection, which includes various photos, letters, and signed documents and baseballs.
For all of you out there that have mother-in-laws you can’t stand -- this story makes it even more painful, doesn’t it?