Yesterday Nike released an ad with Colin Kapernick in celebration of their 30th anniversary of their trademark slogan “Just Do It”. The backlash has been swift with people cutting off the swooshes from their Nike socks. I won’t even comment on how idiotic that it is since you’ve already purchased the item and Nike has your money already but do you. I wrote a post earlier this year about why I was protesting the NFL and I hadn’t watched a game all season except the Super Bowl.
Before the start of the 2018-2019 season, the NFL came out with a rule to help squelch the anthem protests. The rule stated that any player who was on the field for the anthem had to stand or they could wait in the locker room and any team with a player who knelt would be fined. Not only is this rule unnecessary, but no one has the right to censor peaceful protest. That is a right that every American has under the constitution. After a lot of backlash from within the league itself, the rule is currently under review.
I’ve never been a big Nike fan. Probably because I’m not the most athletic person and Nike makes athletic clothing. Their new ad is not going to have me running to the store to buy Nike clothes, but it does make me think. No company makes a decision like this without first weighing the cost. Nike has for years partnered with professional athletes many of whom are Black to be their spokespeople. But the message behind Nike’s ad with Kapernick is what I like. If you don’t take a stand or, a knee in this case, for what you believe in, then what will you stand for? Nike is taking that stand. And I support them and respect the company for it. I also think it’s ironic that they are the official uniform sponsor for the NFL. This ad is a risk. I have tremendous respect for someone who can stand for their convictions and do so in a way that is not disrespectful and hurtful to anyone else. Colin’s silent protest should be an inspiration for all of us. To believe something so deeply that no matter the cost you continue fighting is not an easy thing to do. I do believe that it is one of the most patriotic acts any citizen of any country could do. We should take this opportunity to learn from his actions, not tear him down even further.
Colin Kapernick has not played for a team since 2016 when he became a free agent neither has Eric Reid, his teammate who was one of the first players to take a knee with him is also a free agent and has not played since. They are both currently suing the NFL over this arguing that the owners have colluded (uh this word) to keep them out of the League. It’s pretty obvious that they have. Maybe some of the owners and their coaches should follow Nike’s lead. Take a stand instead of just following the crowd.