Nike’s New Face

Rylie West, Writer

On Monday, September 3rd, Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL quarter back for the San Francisco 49ers tweeted, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt” This statement was the start of this week’s controversy.

Nike, a well-known athleisure brand around the world came out with an ad during Thursday’s NFL football game that named Colin Kaepernick the face of their newest “Just Do It” campaign, as well as their 30th anniversary campaign. The ad consisted of Colin describing people such as the fastest runners in the world, best tennis players in the world, and the best basketball players in the world to motivate people to become the best at their craft. The meaning behind the ad was not only to motivate people to become the best, but to motivate them to be even better. With that being said, the last person Colin described, was arguably the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James. Colin said, “Don’t become the best basketball player on the planet, be bigger than basketball”, while providing an image of James, speaking at the school he developed for less fortunate kids called, “I Promise School.”

Now, why does this campaign have so much controversy? Well, on September 12th 2016, Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee during the National Anthem, to protest what he believes in, which is the oppression of black people and people of color. In 2017, Kaepernick was released from the NFL 49ers and has not been picked up by a team since.

This is why choosing Colin Kaepernick as the face for their campaign has led to many disagreements in society since the release. @AlterAtYeshiva on twitter posted a video of himself burning his Nike shoes, as well as stating “@Nike Due to your support of C.K. in your coming ads, I as an American can no longer support your company #boycottNike #StandForOurFlag”, receiving over 12 thousand retweets and over 33 thousand likes. Among the thousands of likes and retweets, there was over 8,000 replies, with majority of them being negative.

On the other hand @TimmerTroy on twitter quoted Darren Rovell’s “Breaking News” tweet informing followers of Nike’s campaign saying, “I’m okay with this. As a veteran, I served so others could have the right to protest. It doesn’t matter if we like/ don’t like the way it is. And I DON’T feel disrespected. I feel more disrespected that our country still allows vets to go homeless.” Troy Timmer received over 70 thousand retweets and over 200 thousand likes with this tweet.

As more days come, the controversy does not seem to be ending anytime soon.

Do you believe in the “Just Do It” campaign?