Much like the LPGA Tour decision to give in and give up on its plan to punish players for not being able to communitcate in English, the NFL teams' move is one of expedience. It is the correct PR play. But don't mistake it for an admirable display of conscience or integrity. Because as we all know, professional sports franchises are big business. And big business is sorely lacking in both.
But let's examine this situation: A company that backed a heinous regime in Germany more than 60 years ago is being punished, though none of its current employees or executives had anything to do with insuring the Auschwitz concentration camp or any of the Nazis' other actrocities during World War II. In fact, the company has spent considerable time, money and effort trying to atone for its past sins.
So, how many of you drive a Ford? Adolf Hitler said of the company's founder that "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."
How many people wear cotton, produced by companies that used slaves a century and a half ago?
How many people have items imprinted with "Made in China" -- while those companies finance a regime among the worst in world history when it comes to human rights?
Been to a Citgo gas station lately? Then you support Venezuela's socialist, oppressive regime.
Maybe some of you are in the habit of using illicit drugs. Millions of Americans do, so it wouldn't surprise me if some readers of this site are included in that group. Cocaine finances Marxist-Leninist militias in Colombia. The Taliban in Afghanistan uses proceeds from poppy cultivation and heroin production to pay for its terrorist works.
Maybe there is a Russian company you purchase products from that was in Stalin's corner when he was murdering 50 million Soviet citizens.
In short, holding the actions of a company from 60 years ago against it today -- when it has made every effort to disconnect itself from that past -- is mighty hypocritical. Yes, be outraged at what the company did. Be outraged at the Nazis for their genocide.
But do not let that outrage cloud your judgment.