World-renowned Nike recently signed a deal with Colin Kaepernick making him the face of their newest campaign.
An admirable two-minute advertisement premiered during the NFL opener featuring various Nike athletes was narrated by Kaepernick, with the theme of pushing for a greater cause. The highlight of the advertisement shows a pan to Kaepernick’s face saying “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” This references Kaepernick’s controversial but progressive Take a Knee movement he began within the NFL. The movement is in protest against the national anthem and the state of our country regarding police brutality, racial tension and inequality.
In response to this new contract and campaign, Nike fans throughout the nation are acting foolishly in protest. Videos and images have been posted of people burning their Nike merchandise, cutting the swoosh off their socks or simply tossing all their gear away. It is upsetting knowing that there are many underprivileged individuals who could benefit from this clothing being donated instead.
Fans are calling this new campaign supporting the Take a Knee movement unpatriotic. Yet, I feel Kaepernick’s exercise in freedom of speech for the greater good is most patriotic indeed. President Donald Trump, whom is not a big fan of the NFL itself, took to bashing Nike on Twitter claiming they are commiting brand suicide and refuses to support the NFL until they fully support the flag. Fellow athletes, musicians and celebrities are praising Colin Kaepernick for sticking to his values and using his voice for creating awareness on a subject that consumes our nation.
“I think the advertisement is a brave move from Nike,” music student Enrique Gomez said. “They obviously support [Kaepernick’s] thoughts towards police brutality and equality. Hopefully more companies show interest in on the subject as well.”
This campaign will initially have a negative impact on the Nike brand but will result in accelerating it forward. Kaepernick’s relationship with the NFL will surely take a hit as it has already been tense since becoming a free agent back in 2017. Nike will lose the support of the people who are against the Take a Knee movement but will only strengthen the support of the consumers who appreciate Nike’s bold move.
With all the buzz on the internet and word of mouth, Nike will be on everyone’s mind in the near future. Controversy sells. Using your voice for something positive, especially if it has such a wide reach, is something our nation is often afraid of doing.
People’s negative reactions to this campaign appear silly. It’s their own form of protest but they are being counterproductive by destroying the products they already paid for. Although Nike’s stock dropped 3 percent since the ad due to conflict surrounding the campaign, it has been reported that online sales have gone up 31 percent over the weekend.
This movement will create new Nike supporters and promote people to “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”