Almost two years ago, lineman Jordan McNair died as a result of sprints which he was forced to run at the very first day of University of Maryland football practice on May 30, 2018.
This death was entirely the result of a failure of the University of Maryland to satisfy its duty of care to McNair. It starts with one standard: a good business, like, for example, any involved in construction, will require a ‘tag-out’ process, which is the thorough inspection of every work-station, before workers are even allowed on the site. Maryland AD Anderson, and the rest of the Maryland operation, had no idea what a ‘tag-out’ review even involved, and never ‘tagged-out’ one thing. That failure, along with others, meant that Maryland had no ice bath available when Jordan collapsed. (Cost of ice bath, total? — maybe $25?) Twenty five dollars could have saved Jordan McNair’s life.
Maryland football has long been UnderArmour’s ‘flagship’ operation, since UA is a Maryland business. But Nike’s nomenclature for its workers is useful in comprehending the role of players like Jordan McNair, in relation to UnderArmour. Nike calls the overseas factories which make its shoes and apparel “Manufacturing Partners.”
The NCAA players, at each school which enters into a contract with a shoe/apparel supplier like Nike or UnderArmour, are also most accurately labeled as “Advertising Partners.” None of the suppliers want to admit it, but, UnderArmour (for example) “hires” each Maryland football player as a human ‘billboard,’ to advertise its logo on his uniform.
And UnderArmour doesn’t enter into these kinds of big-dollar contracts with Maryland for the fun of it, or out of the goodness of their hearts: they do it because it makes them money. BIG money.
Jordan McNair died while he was functioning as an UnderArmour “Advertising Partner.” Jordan got zero money for doing the advertising.
That was almost two years ago. Jordan McNair’s parents, out of the goodness of their hearts, and their desperation to think that perhaps their son did not die in vain, have set up the Jordan McNair Foundation, with a simple, easy goal: promote the use and availability of Ice Baths on collegiate sports fields.
UnderArmour: do you care? Do you feel any sense of obligation at all? Might you throw some spare change at this foundation, meant to remember and recognize the death of one of your Advertising Partners?
UnderArmour? Hello? Do you recall you Advertising Partner, Jordan McNair?
UnderArmour (and other members of the public) here is the website where you can make contributions, in the memory of Jordan McNair: https://thejordanmcnairfoundation.org/