I had never watched an episode of Duck Dynasty till their bearded patriarch began shooting his mouth off in an issue of GQ Magazine. Therein were 12-ugly-quotes which I found to be crass, unmeasured and piously judgemental.
Duck Dynasty is an amazingly successful show which caters to 14.6-million viewers thereby generating incomprehensible amounts of money for its cable network A&E. This scripted show is ostensibly designed for affluent urbanites to laugh at Louisanna Hillbillies and the rural poor to adore.
One of the shows sponsors is Under Armour (UA) and they also sponsor USA Swimming's very own Michael Phelps. When Philip Robertson went of on his pious rant about gays and how alluring vagina's are, UA quickly pulled out a tired and disingenuous PR phrase to get them out of the proverbial "hot water." It went something like this:
“The recent comments in the GQ article are not reflective of Under Armour’s beliefs and do not represent our point of view,” Under Armour told the Business Journal. “As a company, we are committed to diversity and inclusion and believe in treating everyone equally and with respect.”
Duck Dynasty currently averages 14.6 million viewers and has become a merchandising empire – raking in more than $400 million in related retail sales – it seems unlikely that A&E, or the quack pack’s advertisers, will dump the most popular reality show of all time..."
My rebuttal to that PR gem is, if you believe and are committed to diversity and inclusion and believe in treating everyone equally and with respect, then why are you paying people who don't? But then it gets worse; much worse.
Phillip Robertson, in 2009 suggested that men marry 15-16-year-old girls because it is the smart thing to do. Is the deep south actually that 3rd? - NO, it is not! But, pedophiles and their fellow "travelers" are. Young girls to these people are nothing more "sexbots and chefs" and their "men" are their "overlords." See the video above.
This is absolutely unforgivable but let me "land this plane" quickly and explain why this suddenly has brought both Michael Phelps and USA Swimming into this mess.
It is my belief that Michael Phelps will be coming out with his own signature suit line via UA just like the deal Michael Jordan has with Nike. (Do you see where this plane is landing now?) If Phelps does do a signature line deal with UA he will suddenly have a "dog in the fight" and will have to defend his business unit that endorses a reality star that advises men to marry and sexualize 15-to-16-year-old girls.
What if UA wants to sponsor a USA Swimming event or the governing body itself? How will USA Swimming look trying to help UA sell swimsuits to 15-year-old girls when UA sponsors a pedophile talker like Philip Robertson?
The sex abuse scandals are not far behind USA Swimming (if at all) and this fiasco will be political fodder for GLADD and other groups to possibly talk about their policies and who they take money from.
Oh the tangled web we weave. Phelps should have stayed with Speedo or gone to Arena. More professional in nature, policy and branding.