Nike made a bold statement one week before the NFL season. To promote their 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign, Nike chose Colin Kaepernick as the face of the campaign. The company released a black and white photo of Kaepernick with the caption, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
It was also revealed the Kaepernick had been signed with Nike for years and the company was waiting on the right time to release the campaign.
A multitude of people are upset with Nike over the partnership. Some blasted Nike on social media and others burned Nike shoes and other paraphernalia created by the company.
The hashtag #Nikeboycott is now trending.
There is a commonality among the people who are upset by the Nike/Kaepernick partnership. These are people who think Kaepernick was wrong for kneeling for about two minutes to bring attention to injustice done to Black people. These are people who have ignored the millions of dollars Kaepernick has given to groups who help the community. These are people who think Black people should not have a voice. These people are on the wrong side of history. Even if they don’t believe it themselves, these are people who embrace racism.
President Donald Trump created a firestorm in 2017 by condemning Kapernick and other Black NFL players for taking a knee. Trump, who uses racist ideologies to spark his base, made Kaepernick’s silent protest a racial issue. In their eyes, Black NFL players were disrespecting the national anthem and the military by kneeling during the singing of the anthem before games. Overall, it was fake outrage created by a president who has used his position of power to divide Americans.
The Nike promo came days after it was announced that a judge ruled in favor of Kaepernick to continue his lawsuit against the NFL. Kaepernick believes several NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the NFL. Once a quarterback who led a team to a Super Bowl, Kaepernick has remained out of the NFL since taking a knee in a silent protest.
Here are the responses on social media:
To be truly effective, make sure you not only #DumpNikeStock, but dump any investment fund or mutual fund that holds @Nike stock. Further send an email stating the reason you are dumping that mutual fund. #DumpNike #ScrewNike
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 4, 2018
Shame on @Nike for elevating @Kaepernick7 to be its face; the bum was good for 1 season. Conservatives buy sneakers too. Support @newbalance @underarmour or @reebok instead. #boycottNike #IStand
— Antonio Sabáto Jr 🇺🇸 (@AntonioSabatoJr) September 4, 2018
Buying Nike socks and making them unwearable to own Nike. pic.twitter.com/plBZwZbTjV
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) September 4, 2018
Remember when Colin Kaepernick wore socks that depicted police officers as pigs? So here’s my question for Nike: if Mr. Kaepernick wore socks mocking Muslims or gays, would you hire him to endorse your products?
— Bill O’Reilly (@BillOReilly) September 4, 2018