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Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO’s virtue signaling alienates half of customers

Written By | May 15, 2018

WASHINGTON: Not only is Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack pulling out of the business of selling guns. The company’s idiotarian, hard-left CEO has actually hired a DC lobbying firm to badger Congress to pass strict gun control laws. All in reaction, apparently, to a foul-mouthed, clearly Soros- and/or outside-funded Stoneman Douglas high school punk’s paid-for anti-gun rants.

Plus, perhaps, the usual vicious, anti-NRA pressures and threats that issue 24/7 from the “disarm the citizens” hard leftists who want the average American as defenseless against an eventually socialist government as the hapless Venezuelans currently are against the Commie Corruptocrat government that’s ruined their once-rich economy and is now starving that country into submission.

Prediction: This Dick’s Sporting Goods virtue signaling episode will cause yet another Epic Business Fail.

Read also: The individual rights of a rational Constitution over the weepy mob’s tears

We’ve railed for years in these columns about the endless, nauseating recurrence of corporate, left-wing virtue signaling in America. This is the 21stCentury variation that closely tracks Jesus’ well-known parable of the Pharisee (a super-rich guy) and the Publican (a wretched tax-collector hated by all).

The Pharisee proudly thanks God that his (alleged) virtue has been publicly rewarded with great wealth. He regards his  success as an outward sign of his oneness with the Lord. (My modern rendition.) He also thanks God that he’s not like that sniveling, no-account creep in the back of the sanctuary. That other guy is obviously a jerk because God has clearly not favored him in any way.

Meanwhile, so far back in that sanctuary that he’s nearly cropped out of the photo-op, the publican keeps begging God, “Be merciful to me Lord, I’m a sinner.” (Again, forgive the poetic license here. You get the picture. This parable never becomes outdated.)

Over the years, we’ve seen America’s modern Corporate Pharisees in action despite the fact that most of these corporate-CEO Axes-of-Evil are publicly traded companies. Their ill-advised grandstanding activities generally damage the businesses they run. Hence, their shareholders as well. Dick’s Sporting Goods is only the latest miscreant.

The roster runs the gamut, from the anti-Rush Limbaugh Carbonite (symbol: CARB) (sales never fully recovered); through too-big-too-be-damaged Merck (MRK) and UPS (UPS), both of which denounced and then de-funded the Boy Scouts of America for attempting to uphold the hetero-normative teaching and counseling of American boys to be upstanding citizens and loyal and loving husbands and fathers; through Kellogg’s (K) hard-left left-wing (and thankfully now gone) CEO (sales down); through Starbucks founder Howard Schultz (who’s pulled virtue-signaling antics many times previous to his current corporate debasement).

Recently, grandstanding Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) CEO Edward Stack has decided to signal his own anti-Second Amendment virtue at the expense of his company. The predictable result will be a big drop in the company’s sales and profitability.

Powerline’s John Hinderaker takes up the Dick’s gun-banning show from here.

“[T]he NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action sums up:

“We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic rifles at its stores, carry only limited capacity magazines for semi-automatic guns, and ban firearm sales to certain legally eligible adults. It then took the further step of declaring it would destroy its inventory of the newly-restricted firearms at company expense. And if that weren’t enough, the news also recently broke that the company had hired expensive D.C. lobbyists to push for gun control measures on Capitol Hill.

“Has this ever happened before? A company lobbying against the products that it sells? As you can imagine, gun owners do not appreciate Dick’s antics:

“Meanwhile, members of the firearms industry have also begun withdrawing their products from Dick’s and Field & Stream outlets.”

Companies taking their business elsewhere include Springfield Armory, O.F. Mossberg & Sons and firearms supplier Hi-Point Firearms.

“And lots of firearms owners are staying away from Dick’s, not only for gun purchases but for other sporting goods. Dick’s CEO, Edward Stack, admits that the company’s anti-gun posturing ‘is not going to be positive from a traffic standpoint and a sales standpoint.’”

How do shareholders in Dick’s Sporting Goods like Edward Stack’s profit-killing virtue signaling?

Hinderaker’s conclusion is pretty much what mine is.

“Dick’s CEO cares more about his standing with the club than about his company’s profitability. If I were a Dick’s shareholder, this would make me very unhappy… But Stack’s admission that his virtue signaling likely will lose shareholders’ money is remarkable. If… Dick’s share price drops, or fails to keep pace with its industry, Stack’s admission is virtually an invitation to a class action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders.”

Even professional lefties admit, to their frustration, that this country is politically split roughly 50-50 down the middle. So, I ask, why would any sane company trying to meet or beat the next quarterly profit projection boldly act to piss off half its potential customers.

There’s more. Why would your company virtue-signal to leftists who (if we believe them) would never own or buy a gun anyway? That means you’re pissing off 100 percent of potential gun buyers. Not to mention killing off related sales of camouflage clothing, camping gear, hunting boots, etc.

My personal response to these idiots is to boycott their stocks in my investment portfolios. Ditto boycotting their stores and/or products when I’m out shopping. If lefties boycott companies on the right, let’s see how their corporate pals enjoy a consumer boycott from us. Lefty CEOs and companies brag about boycotting 50 percent of their customers like me. So it’s only logical for me to return the favor. Plus, there’s always ever-faithful Cabela’s and we have plenty of great proprietor-owned gun shops down here in Virginia as well.

Consider doing the same. Otherwise, corporate America’s reflexive sucking up to a perpetually-enraged anti-American left will never end. Until they — and we — end up like another Venezuela.


Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17