A recent controversy has spiked a lot of people’s attention – Nike’s newest campaign. Nike dedicated their 30thanniversary of its “Just Do It” slogan with ads featuring NFL player Colin Kaepernick – an ad that spiked a lot of frustration.
Kaepernick has faced controversy since 2016 while in the NFL preseason. Kaepernick made the conscious decision to take a knee during the national anthem as a peaceful protest towards the treatment of minorities – especially by police. After talking with a former U.S. Army member, Nate Boyer, he continued to kneel in protest before each game. He started a movement; shortly after he began kneeling so did others. Eric Reid for example, a teammate of his for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling alongside Kaepernick in peaceful protest.
Kaepernick is just 30 years old; he started 11 games in 2016 and signed a $126 million contract in 2014 with the 49ers. Kaepernick opted out of his contract in 2017 due to the controversy that was arising because of his, and others, peaceful protest.
Kaepernick has faced a lot of threats and harassment from people around the United States – one of those individuals being Donald Trump, the President of the United States. Although President Trump has not mentioned Kaepernick directly, he often is found to tweet or post an angry message every time Kaepernick took a knee or a post was made about him. Most of the rapid-fire criticism that Kaepernick has faced is from conservatives.
Kaepernick has actually filed a grievance against the NFL because he has not been offered a deal – he is accusing the NFL of trying to keep him out of the league. Reid, his fellow teammate, has also joined the grievance. Serena Williams, a famous woman’s tennis player, has extended her support and wishes to only fight for minority rights and nothing else.
The Nike ad in itself is a black and white photo of Kaepernick with the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” across the bottom of the photo. Kaepernick’s appearance in the Nike ad immediately sparked some controversy, but the brand received a lot of praise for the statement that they were making.
In correlation with the criticism, people are burning their Nike clothing, or cutting the Nike symbol/tag out of the clothing. They then follow with taking a photo and posting it on social media, in hopes to catch another person’s attention.
A piece of advice would be if you no longer support Nike, instead of cutting/burning your clothes, donate it to your local shelter or a Goodwill store. There are people that would be more than happy to have those clothing items, despite the controversy.
In the end, Nike’s sales continue to go up and people are in full support of the ad’s they are releasing. Remember, the only type of bad publicity is no publicity; at the end of the day, Nike will continue to make profit and gain customers despite whether or not you agree with the campaign.