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Nike sponsors Kaepernick and white America freaks out

by Christopher Suarez - Copy Editor
Tue, Sep 11th 2018 03:00 pm
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Imagine being an All-State athlete in three sports, having a 4.0 grade point average coming out of high school and entering a Division 1 (D-1) school as the starting quarterback and playing all four years. 

Now picture yourself getting drafted in the second round of the National Football league (NFL) draft, making millions of dollars, and playing in the Super Bowl. While this is all going on, imagine seeing your people killed, mistreated and degraded by today's society. 

This is the life of Colin Kaepernick. Former starting NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is currently a free agent, has been in the limelight his entire life playing football. However on Aug. 26, 2016, Kaepernick decided to stand in front of a different light as he sat down on a bench during the national anthem, to protest the injustices the black community and ethnicities face. 

This prompted controversy, but for a whole season, Kaepernick took a knee during every national anthem, despite the hate and negativity thrown at him. 

Fast forward two years later, Kaepernick has still not been signed and hate is still being thrown at him, but there’s one team who stands with him — Nike. 

Recently, the clothing brand released an advertisement with Kaepernick’s face on it and a quote that stated “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The ad drew a lot of positive feedback from those who support Kaepernick’s movement, but also drew a lot of negative feedback from those who feel that Kaepernick's movement is a disrespect to the American flag and what is stands for.

Athletes like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Eric Reid and more have all shown support for the new advertisement. However, the positive comments are being overshadowed by the words and boycotts of Americans. 

President Donald Trump has been vocal on his displeasure of NFL players taking a knee since he took office.

“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?” Trump tweeted after Americans across the country were boycotting Nike, by cutting the checks off their clothing and burning any Nike apparel they had. 

People across America are posting videos of them burning their Nike gear after they had already bought them as a “boycott” to the company. 

Tweets like “First the NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country” are accompanied by a video of Nike sneakers being burned. 

American country singer, John Rich, has made his displeasure with Nike very clear. 

In a tweet, Rich posted a picture of the Nike check cut off from a pair of socks with the caption stating, “Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready Nike multiply that by the millions.” Is this really that big of a problem though and will it hurt Nike? 

An article from fortune.com reports that Nike’s online sale has grown 31% since the release of the advertisement. This is a major difference from the only 17% increase that the company saw last year around the same time. The company has also received more than $43 million worth of media exposure due to the advertisement. 

The only thing that declined since the release of the endorsement deal with Kaepernick, is their stock. The Nike stock fell more than 3% since the announcement. They are working to get the stock back to how it was, but have yet to successfully accomplish this goal. 

However, the issue I seem to find with this boycott, is the idea of destroying something you already bought. Nike does not lose any revenue from you posting a picture or video of you destroying your Nike apparel. 

The company already took your money, they do not care what you do with it afterwards. Nike is benefiting more and more from all the exposure they are getting so keep posting your hate for Nike, you’re just giving them free advertising and making them richer. 

Colin Kaepernick has sparked a fire under America by simply taking a knee. His message has been interpreted horribly since he started his movement. People think he is taking a knee to disrespect the American flag, when in all reality, he is showing how much he loves this country by exposing its flaws and demanding changes that would overall benefit the way our society functions for everyone, not just a select few. 

Kaepernick has never once spoke down about his country, nor not once he disrespected the American flag; he is just trying to get his message out. 

In my opinion, the argument about disrespecting the anthem is just a way for people to cover up his message. White America does not want to admit that minorities in this country are treated unfairly, so they would rather turn the tables and attack Kaepernick for something else - being what they are now calling unpatriotic. 

This country, run by an incompetent man, needs to stop turning down those voices that promote change that would set minority communities at the level of respect they deserve to be at. As long as people continue to try to shut Kaepernick’s voice down, he will rise up with a whole army behind him to make sure his voice and the voice of his people are heard. 


csuar1@brockport.edu | @Chrissuarez0428 

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