Charles Barkley was wrong. You are role models.
At least for health, wellness and fitness.
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Yesterday Parker shared Jordan Spieth’s latest video commercial peddling Coca-Cola. I guess they were thinking “let’s ride the Jordan Spieth Chiropractic commercial wave.” But even with good intentions, and I get their intention, it still just looked foolish for them, Chiropractic and Jordan Spieth.
I am a soda drinker.
But for the last few years, I have reversed my previous incarnation as a shameful sh**ter into a shameful pop drinker (I’m from Upstate NY we say Pop and my pooping might be hinging on TMI I’m aware).
My addiction, and yes it’s an addiction, started as a young boy. My mother was a six pack a day coke drinker. Those went well alongside her pack-a-day Menthol Kools and bags of Dove chocolates.
You see as much as my father, a Chiropractor, could get my mother involved with Chiropractic; he could never help shake her ways with her nutrition; or lack of nutrition intake. She was older and grew up in a generation and community where her sugar consumption was normal.
It wasn’t until my parents got divorced that my father realized just how bad I got the cravings for soda.
You see he was busy building a multi-million dollar practice and consulting business. And, while he knew what my mother was feeding my brother and me it was almost too much for him to battle as he was working 17 hour days, traveling and supporting his band of brothers and sisters in Chiropractic.
This, amongst many other things, led to the demise of their relationship.
But when I chose to live with my father, at the age of 12, he finally saw what a soda junkie I had become. After begging him like a hobo on the street for $1.50 to go down to the local A-Plus to get an orange soda he turned from irritated to amused to real concern.
I had the shakes and if you didn’t know what I was jonesing for, you probably would have assumed it was heroin or cocaine. I threw a tantrum for my fix. He caved. I was relieved.
In my 20’s I dropped my soda consumption dramatically and in my 30’s I’ve almost completely removed it from my life. Almost.
Now it is embarrassing to consume soda, especially when you work in the healthcare field. And, when you live in Southern California and order a pop at a local restaurant most of the servers look at you like you asked them if they could throw a little battery acid on the side of a child’s head with pasta.
But, now and then I cheat. I sneak out of the office or from home and hit up a fast food joint for a quick dose of that carbonated oxycontin. I’m almost there. I’m almost free. But not quite.
I’m ashamed of this habit. I should be. And so should any athlete that promotes this garbage. So I wanted to share my story, to say “Hey, I get it. It tastes really f**king good. It hits my pleasure zones, and I’m only human. I’m working on it.”
Trust me. Not one athlete is responsible for my habits. I didn’t start using Hertz because of OJ Simpson. I don’t use Hertz because they suck. I didn’t start wearing UGGS because of Tom Brady. I wear them because my feets love them and I look adorable.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not BS when Athletes support the polar opposite of what make them so special.
The Coca-Cola Company is an international retailer, manufacturer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverages and syrups. Best known for its signature product, Coca-Cola, the company is a major sponsor of NASCAR, the NBA, the PGA Tour, NCAA Championships, the Olympic Games, the NRL, the FIFA World Cups and the UEFA Euro. As a leader in the soft drink industry, Coca-Cola’s advertising efforts have made a significant impact on American culture. Better known by its nickname, “Coke,” the brand has routinely employed the talent of famous movie stars, sports legends and renowned signers in its marketing campaigns. Coke’s tie to the Olympic Games provides the brand with a unique opportunity to select an athlete with a broad, international appeal.
Here is a list of few of the current and past Coca-Cola and Pepsi endorsers:
- Lebron James
- Michael Jordan
- Michelle Kwan
- Wayne Rooney
- Danica Patrick
- Tony Stewart
- Marshawn Lynch
- Lionel Messi
- Usain Bolt
Those are some pretty awesome athletes. Lionel Messi had a very cool story a few years ago:
While manager Pep Guardiola was giving a dressing room speech,Backe asserts that Messi interrupted him to ask for a Coke. Pep denied the request, saying his players may not have that kind of drink before a game. Clearly in the mood for some delicious brown sugar water,Messi stood up, grabbed a Coke and drank it in front of all the players.
“It was a battle that Guardiola could not win,” said Backe.
The story raises many questions. Why would the Barcelona dressing room have Coke if it was not allowed? What kind of grown man interrupts a speech from a senior colleague in a professional environment to ask for a soft drink? And what would Messi‘s sponsor Pepsi have to say about his thirst for a rival product? –source
And here is a recent commercial starring NBA star Julius Randle, Jimmy Butler and Russel Westbrook:
The NBA is notorious for their soda sponsorship deals.
So why is this a problem?
Because the same way we scoff at old time baseball players who sponsored Cigarettes, we will do the same with this current crop of superstars in the next 25 years.
Because these drinks kill. Literally.
Regardless whether you drink sweetened ice tea, sports drinks, or soda, one thing is clear: sugary drinks are a health hazard. New research shows that beverages sweetened with sugar may have contributed to up to 184,000 deaths globally, mostly by causing increased rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The United States led the death toll, with 25,000 annual deaths linked to sweetened drinks in 2010, but it’s low- and middle-income countries that get hit the hardest, accounting for 75% of global soda-related deaths. On a per capita basis, Mexico had the highest death count, 405 per million adults. Mexico consumes far more soda per person than any country in the world. -source
So Superstar Athletes hear my plea.
DON’T go on and take the money and run.
Stop selling out your body and image to peddle poison.
Think about your millions of young fans developing diabetes and other disorders because of this poison.
And besides, eventually, these companies will run out the money you desire.
But honestly, you should focus your attention on products that serve your underlying mission and purpose. Because your image holds weight and kids do listen.
A recent study examined 178 athletic endorsements and 95 companies, which concluded that endorsements pump up a brand’s sales by $10 million a year, on average, and increase short-term return on equity (0.25%). This figure jumps higher if the athlete wins a championship.-source.-source