"Each day, athletes around the world are done in by their current ACLs failing on them," said Nike president and CEO Mike Parker. "That's not good enough. People don't play sports in bare feet anymore and they shouldn't compete with the ACLs they get at birth either. Soon the best athletes will have Nike swooshes on their shoes and inside their knees."
Using a patented, synthetic material that the company claims is "more durable and impossible to tear," NikeCLs, as the product is named, are already being sold in Foot Locker and Dick's Sporting Goods stores across the nation. Consumers will pick out Nike Swoosh-emblazoned ACL replacement in the color they desire and then a store employee will slice open their knee, cut out the existing ACL and install the NikeCL.
"We suspect that there will be some initial trepidation about having a major surgery done on your knee by, say, a 19 year-old Foot Locker employee who may or may not be attending community college," said Parker. "But we promise that all surgeries will be done by staff members who have seen a 15-minute training video. There is nothing to worry about."
Like regular ACL reconstruction surgery, installation of the NikeCLs will require an intensive 12 to 18-month rehab program, but that is a sacrifice Nike believes consumers will make.
"Athletes train for five, 10, 15, 20 years to get where they want to be," said Nike founder Phil Knight. "Sacrificing just one year to get a better product inside your knees one that you don't have to fear will tear will be very attractive to the serious athlete."
NikeCLs are retailing at $11,435 each, or $20,000 for a pair.