After the controversial decision by Nike to pick former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of its “Just Do It” campaign, many people created memes in response to express their outrage at the choice. But there’s perhaps one meme that was a perfect response and especially on September 11.
Across the Nike ad, on Kaepernick’s face is the slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Tough to see sacrifice in an ad campaign and clothing line that will make him millions.
One of those anti-Nike memes featured one of the heroes of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead … a hero who truly understands what it means to “sacrifice everything” for something you believe in.
That hero of Benghazi was none other than Kris “Tanto” Paronto, a former U.S. Army Ranger turned private security contractor who survived that fateful night in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
While politicians back home slept or prepared the excuses they’d rely on for weeks and months to come after the attack, Paronto and others fended off waves of assaults by determined terrorists using automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars on a U.S. diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in the Libyan port city, without receiving any additional support from military and political leaders based in Washington.
Now the meme wasn’t made by Paronto, but it does capture a lot of his efforts. And one has to imagine that memes like this are not sitting well with Nike.
The caption on the meme read: “Just do it??? I already DID it.”
“I held down the fort in Benghazi, after Obama and Hillary rolled over in their silk sheets and hit the snooze button,” the caption continued. “I didn’t get any kid’s sneaker contract either. I was wearing my military boots.
“I roll for one ‘brand’ only — the U.S. flag,” the meme concluded, with an American flag followed by the words “Did it” at the bottom of the photo of Paronto holding his rifle pointed down with his finger safely off the trigger.
On September 11, Americans remember the anniversary of the terrorist attack in 2001, which took nearly 3000 lives in 2001.
But it is also that anniversary of the terrorist attack that took four American lives in 2012, the attack on the mission and the compound in Benghazi.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith lost their lives and Glen Doherty and Ty Woods lost theirs trying to save them and the others.
Kris Paronto was there on that roof, with Doherty and Woods, fending off the terrorists, far outgunned and hoping for American aid that never came.
That’s real bravery and sacrifice.
Let’s remember those who died today in Benghazi, who put their lives on the line for what they believed in.
Here’s Paronto telling his story: