How to Give the Middle Finger to the Mob
The “new woke mob” is ruining everything and if you are a business owner or marketer, it’s time to take a stand.
I’m going to dig into a topic today that is very controversial, and I will leave you with essential tips on how to thrive when the cancel culture woke mob comes for your business. If you find yourself easily frightened, offended, or even “newly woke,” then stop reading before you go any further.
If you need to run to a “safe space,” I’m fine with it, just stay out of my way.
During a recent 13-day period I attended game 5 of the World Series — the Houston Astros vs. Washington Nationals (October 27) and the biggest college football game of the year, #2 Alabama vs. #1 LSU (November 9).
Unfortunately, I saw both of my teams (Nationals and Alabama) lose.
But that is not the point!
The controversy I’m covering today involves President Donald Trump’s attendance at both games and what I saw from two VERY different crowds. How does this pertain to marketing? Trust me, you’ll learn what to do if the woke mob comes for your business. And how to hold the line while staying authentic to your purpose …
Ready to dig into this story?
Let’s start with the positive — the Alabama/LSU game played in Tuscaloosa, AL. To be fair, it was a very pro-Trump crowd. But regardless of your political affiliation, it was pretty cool hearing 101,000+ fans chanting “USA!” to honor the president’s visit on Veterans Day weekend. And, on top of that, the Trump fans I witnessed were incredibly polite and respectful to those in the crowd who might not have been Trump supporters.
It was a non-political moment that made me proud to be an American — and I would be writing the exact same thing had President Obama or Clinton been in attendance.
So that was the good side of America. Now let’s discuss the ugly side of America.
The hullabaloo involved President Trump’s attendance at the World Series game in Washington, D.C. on October 26.
I saw the worst in America at this game.
A little background first: Presidents attending baseball games in D.C., even a World Series game, is a tradition. It is NOT political!
In 2005 I saw President George W. Bush throw out the first pitch at the first Washington Nationals game. The crowd cheered for him even though 90% of the game’s attendees didn’t vote for him. Back then, they were respectful of the “office.”
So, what happened at the World Series?
First off, President Trump didn’t just attend with his wife, he invited wounded veterans to join him. Again, this wasn’t a political event — it was a celebration of baseball.
But that didn’t matter to the left-leaning fans in attendance. They booed the president relentlessly and even went one disgusting step further — chanting, “Lock him up!” (this included the fans sitting next to me).
I understand a similar chant has happened at Trump political rallies (not condoning that either) and that a large swath of Americans are not happy with the president and his policies. I understand these American’s feelings are visceral. They have that right, and they are entitled to their opinion.
But … at a baseball game?
The World Series should be a place that unites us as a community and a country. You don’t have to cheer for the president, but people should respect the office of the presidency.
Oh, but it gets worse!
A few days after the Nationals won the World Series, the team was invited to the White House to meet with the president.
Championship sports teams have visited the White House since the Washington Senators won the World Series in 1924. This is not a partisan visit, it’s a celebratory moment.
But the “woke” angry social media mobsters weren’t going to stand for this enduring tradition. And neither did Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle, who joined the protest party stating he wouldn’t attend the White House visit. You can read my tweetstorm about Doolittle here.
There are some vital marketing lessons to learn, but first I’ve got to break down what happened at the actual White House event. It was supposed to be a celebration of a Nationals World Series win, but two players paid a huge price.
First up — 1st baseman Ryan Zimmerman. For those that don’t know, Zimmerman is the most popular and beloved player in Nationals history. But at the White House, he did the ungodly act of presenting President Trump with a team jersey and thanking him for protecting and serving this country.
It was not a political statement, rather a respectful and gracious comment for the invitation to come to the “People’s House.”
The wrathful social media mobsters went berserk.
One disrespectful woke snowflake even changed Zimmerman’s Wikipedia page by referring to him as a white “nationalist.”
What is wrong with this picture?!
It didn’t stop there. An idiot reporter named Noah Frank even pursued Zimmerman’s charity, the ziMS Foundation. This charity raises money for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis and has donated over $3.5 million in the last 13 years. Frank’s inquisition was a not-so-subtle attempt to hurt Zimmerman by investigating whether he had violated the law and jeopardized the tax status of the non-profit (by making a simple non-political comment about the celebratory visit). See for yourself here.
This is total scumbaggery — the new woke movement won’t stop until they destroy their targets.
BTW, I wrote an entire chapter on how to deal with a bad press crisis in “Fire Them Now”. I did not anticipate the “new woke world” when I was writing this chapter, and I should have clarified how to deal with controversy. For example: as a business owner or marketer, if you get a bad Yelp review, you must proactively deal with it. You must make it right. Don’t confuse the two scenarios here.
What happened to Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki, the second unsuspecting victim of the cancel culture mob, was even worse.
What did Suzuki do that caused so much controversy?
Suzuki had the gall to have fun with the president during his once-in-a-lifetime White House visit.
He put on a “MAGA” hat and spoke to the crowd, saying simply (with a big smile) “I love you all. I love you all.”
The result of trying to be funny while enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime moment?
Suzuki was eviscerated on social media — by the uber vengeful and even called-out by the “woke” media.
But catch this — there’s a twist to how this story ends, and you can learn from it!
When the woke mob demanded an apology, do you know what Suzuki did? He didn’t give it to them, stating:
“I was just trying to have some fun. Everybody makes everything political. It was about our team winning the World Series.”
Thank GOD for Kurt Suzuki. The mob can go to hell.
Here is my BIG takeaway for you:
If you or your business encounters the “new woke mob” and you don’t feel like you did anything wrong, follow Kurt Suzuki’s lead. Stand up for what you believe in, and don’t half-heartedly apologize for it.
If you stay true to your authenticity, you will win. I promise you that. Remember, if you give the “new woke mob” an inch, they’ll take a mile — and then they’ll take your job, your business — everything. They won’t stop until someone else diverts their attention, but by then you will be left with nothing.
P.S. — John Abbas is the host of an incredibly powerful new podcast called Mentor Nation. His goal is to connect people to mentors so he can change people’s lives, just how his life was changed by one a few years ago. He asked some great questions that lead us into a fascinating discussion about marketing strategies and the secret formula I use to help clients win — you can listen in here.
P.P.S. — If you know of a friend or a colleague that would enjoy my bi-weekly updates about incredibly cool, funny and idiotic marketing ideas, please have them email me (email@example.com) or sign up here.