They say that a picture’s worth a thousand words.
Well, in the case of Colin Kaepernick, it’s an ad and a million words.
The polarizing ex-NFL quarterback teamed with Nike on their 30th anniversary campaign which features the likes of Serena Williams and LeBron James. Kaepernick can be seen in a black and white photo with the slogan “Believe in something, Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
In the matter of a few hours, tons of people took to social media to speak their opinion, including President Donald Trump.
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Whether you agree with Colin’s protest or not, the courage that it takes a person to take a stand, especially in the height of their career, requires a lot of strength. He was just two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance and a six-year contract extension.
No, he’s not in the military, but the bravery that he displayed is equivalent to those who serve. He truly sacrificed everything so that the unjust killing of unarmed black men can have a platform for America to see. He donated $1 million to various charities that range from social injustice and education within his first year out of the NFL
The spotlight that this topic has gained can be explained by where it started: on the football field. What the former 49er saw as an opportune time to protest, half of America saw as an intrusion on their break from the world.
Having a topic as serious as police brutality brought at such a vulnerable time was not received well. I ask to those who don’t agree: are you upset because of the action or the purpose? The action was approved by U.S. Navy veteran Nate Boyer after Colin was first sitting on the bench. After he changed to kneeling, veterans across the country agreed with Kaepernick’s decision to kneel.
Now, before you cut the Nike sign off your socks or burn the $150 pair of Jordan’s, keep in mind that Nike is a business, not a political institution.
According to CNBC, Nike received more than $43 million worth of media exposure over the first twenty-four hours of the ad’s release.
The company did what you’d expect them to do. They took a highly controversial figure, made him the face of a campaign and took the spoils. You shouldn’t put your political alignment within brands, whether you’re protesting or supporting. It’s starts to become a rabbit hole because Nike could do something that you may or may not like. At the end of the day, Nike is a business and will keep its company first.
Besides the the social media arguments and the destruction of clothing, this ad is really good. The video, along with the photo that came out this week, speaks to the limits people put on themselves. Kaepernick can be heard narrating words of inspiration such as “don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they’re crazy enough.”
Colin Kaepernick will always be known for kneeling, but he’ll also be remembered for showing the inequalities that we have in our country and that no matter who you are, you can make a difference.