Opinion: Colin Kaepernick Ad is a Bad Move By Nike


Advertisement courtesy of Nike.

On Sept. 7, Nike released its 30th Anniversary Campaign of the “Just Do It” slogan. The face chosen for that advertisement was Colin Kaepernick. The Billboard features a picture of Kaepernick with the quote, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Colin Kaepernick became one of the most controversial athletes in 2016 when he began kneeling for the National Anthem before games to protest racial inequality and police brutality in America. He was chosen by Nike to symbolize the “sacrifice” Kaepernick made to protest this cause. The point they are making is Kaepernick sacrificed his career in order to keep his protest alive. Many believe that Kaepernick has not been signed because of the controversy he has caused.

This ad has brought forth many arguments in America, and in a way divided our nation. Many people did not take kindly to not only the ad recently released by Nike, but also Kaepernick kneeling in protest. I am one of the people who was not happy with these decisions. In my opinion, Colin Kaepernick had no idea what he was doing and he had no idea what he was going to cause by doing it.

Colin Kaepernick has taken something that is supposed to unite America and has caused it to tear us apart. His kneeling started back in 2016 and has since then spread out to many players in the NFL. More than 200 players last season participated in kneeling for the National Anthem,

The year Kaepernick started the protests was the last season he played. Since then, he has been inquired by teams to possibly sign, but Kaepernick never signed the dotted line. I think this could be the cause of Kaepernick not appearing publicly to discuss the ad or the kneeling in general since The first game he knelt for, he was interviewed in the locker room about his reasoning for his actions, but since then, he has not made a public appearance talking about the protest, or more recently, the Nike ad.

This has raised some questions at least to me. If he was really passionate about this cause and wanted it to really sink in to make a change in America, why doesn’t he publicly talk about it? His “example” has spread everywhere in the US, but other than that locker room interview in 2016, he hasn’t had even a press conference to discuss this issue that he has caused.

The influence of Kaepernick and this protest is immense. High Schools across America have started kneeling for the National Anthem before games. Kaepernick has even gone to a few schools and participated in the kneeling with them. But let’s put this into perspective. We hear how these players are “standing” for what they believe in by kneeling, but what are they doing off the field to change things?

Kaepernick has donated millions of dollars to different charities, and I’m sure that other NFL players do the same thing. But what have players been doing in the community? Former Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters was involved in protests in the 2017 season. He was invited by the Kansas City Police Department to join them on a community outreach program. According to the KCPD and the Kansas City Star, Peters never responded to the invite.

I believe the players’ lack of involvement for change communities is a crucial part of the protests. The players are doing something about racial injustice in America by kneeling for the National Anthem, but at the same time are doing nothing by not reaching out to the people that it effects.

I understand what Kaepernick’s intentions were when he started his protest. He was not disrespecting the flag, or our military. He was raising awareness for a problem we have in America today. But no matter what his intentions were, the disrespect shown by him and the players is immense.

I myself come from a military family. Both my great grandfathers, my grandpa, and my cousin all served in the military at some point in time. These people who were a part of my own family risked their lives overseas so that we can have this wonderful country. Not only are these NFL players disrespecting military personnel, but they are also disrespecting their own brethren, their own teammates or opponents. Players such as Alejandro Villanueva, Pat Tillman, and Joe Cardona. Tillman ended his NFL career by enlisting in the Army and dying in Afghanistan when he was deployed in 2004. Alejandro Villanueva has been deployed overseas 3 different times. And Joe Cardona has been actively serving since 2016.

Even with all these people making true sacrifices for our freedom, NFL players decide to forget the reason we stand united and in silence for the National Anthem to honor not only America, but the people who fought for it.

In my opinion, Nike made a mistake with this ad. Of all the players they could have chosen to represent their company, they choose arguably the most controversial player in all of sports.