Dick’s Sporting Goods used to be a lot of people’s go-to gun store. The chain tended to have good prices and even better sales, so a lot of folks took advantage. What most of them didn’t know for much of that time is just how little the company’s CEO shared their values regarding the Second Amendment. Edward Stack had no problem profiting from the Second Amendment, not for years, but he never believed in it.
That became clear when he decided to no longer profit from the sale of certain firearms, which led to a general boycott of his stores by gun-rights supporters.
It was not a great business decision, to be sure, though not as bad as many hoped.
Now, though, the despised CEO is stepping down.
The billionaire CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edward Stack, will step down in February after a 37-year run in which he built the company from two small stores he and his siblings bought from their father into an 850-store chain that went public in 2002.
He’ll be succeeded by Lauren R. Hobart, who joined as chief marketing officer in 2011 and ascended to president and board member in 2017, spearheading the company’s marketing and e-commerce strategies.
Stack will remain with the company as executive chairman and chief merchant.
So, what does this mean for the company? Is Dick’s going to get back in the gun game?
Don’t hold your breath.
Stack is still in a position to influence the companies decisions. A powerful position, which means they won’t reverse the company’s decision so long as Stack remains at the helm. Instead, he’s mostly going to be out of the day-to-day running of the company.
For now, Dick’s remains an anti-gun company that will continue taking their profits and working to undermine our Second Amendment rights.
There’s absolutely no reason to believe any of that will change.
Sure, after Stack is completely out of the picture, you might see some kind of reverse on that policy. If it happens, I urge gun-rights advocates to return to the store. Until then, I wouldn’t buy a soccer ball from them.
Further, this needs to be the way we handle all companies that not just decided to drop a product category–there may be legitimate business reasons for that, after all–but also starts to work towards dismantling our right to keep and bear arms.
That’s what Dick’s has done. That’s what Stack has done. By not just stopping the sale of AR-15s but also hiring lobbyists to push for a complete ban on the weapons, Stack has made his company not just a non-factor for gun buyers, but an enemy of the American people. Frankly, no one should buy a damned thing from them, no matter how badly they want it.
Unfortunately, too few Americans understand that, which is what’s keeping Dick’s afloat.
And with Stack only taking a reduced role in the company, that’s not going to change any time soon, either. That’s the real shame of all of this.