On the first of September in 2016 Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, kneeled during the U.S. National Anthem, which created massive controversy. Kaepernick is known for being a controversial figure in football, but now has even exceeded that. Last week on Thursday, Kaepernick accepted a multimillion dollar contract to be the new face of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign for the campaign’s 30th anniversary, dropping a bomb on the world.
While some people are burning their Nike products, stating that they will never buy anything from Nike ever again, but other people believe that this is a great achievement for Kaepernick and Nike, and have been showing them a lot of love. Junior Eder Bravo said, “It is a bold, adventurous, yet wonderful idea that will push the company to further limits”
Just in these last few weeks Nike has gained more than 170,000 instagram followers and has had non-stop attention from the press. Could this be the biggest marketing ploy in history? The Washington Post said, “Nike has had a 31% increase in online sales since the advertisement was released to the public and is projected to keep climbing.” Nike’s stocks have also risen a considerable amount since the sixth of September and continue to stay very constant.
Who knows what might happen to Nike in the future? Their stock, sales and revenue could absolutely tank in these upcoming months. No one had any idea what the effect of this campaign would have on the company and on the career of Kaepernick, but that is a risk that Nike was willing to take.
Though many people think the campaign is a step in the right direction for change, there are also many that are outraged, saying that this is offensive to everything our country stands for. Using Kaepernick as the star of this ad disrespects all the soldiers and everything they are doing for this country.The ad states that you should “believe in something even if you have to sacrifice everything.” Many people believe that Kaepernick has sacrificed his career, and that he brought that on himself.
Many also believe he could have changed the way he protested instead of kneeling during the National Anthem, or he should have never disrespected the flag, as it is one of the biggest symbols in this country. Some even think that he could have held a press conference or could have brought attention to the problem by speaking out. In the eyes of people who disagrees with the ad, Kaepernick should have been fired from the San Francisco 49ers, and should have been banned from the NFL for life.
Why did Nike choose Kaepernick? He has been out of a job since 2016, why would they give him the honor of being the face of such a huge movement. U.S. President Trump who has been quoted on this problem multiple times saying that Kaepernick’s kneeling is “a terrible message” and should not be embraced or celebrated by anyone.
Some Americans are stuck in the middle, and cannot decide how they feel about Nike’s new ad. Many of these people do not support Kaepernick and Nike, but do not want to burn their Nike gear. High school teacher Shawn Fessler said, “I agree that Kaepernick has the right to do what he is doing and I support that, but I do not support the way he is doing it.” Fessler says he should just protest in a different way. I urge you to look further into the Nike-Kaepernick relationship in order to be a part of the solution rather than help contribute to the problem.