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Nike Stands With Kap

Images+courtesy+of+Nike+%E2%80%9CJust+Do+It%E2%80%9D+campaign+and+Sean+Clancy+twitter%2C+%40sclancy79
Images courtesy of Nike “Just Do It” campaign and Sean Clancy twitter, @sclancy79

Images courtesy of Nike “Just Do It” campaign and Sean Clancy twitter, @sclancy79

Images courtesy of Nike “Just Do It” campaign and Sean Clancy twitter, @sclancy79

Louis Sanders, Staff Writer

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Over the Labor Day weekend, Nike revealed they had been paying Colin Kaepernick and will make him the face of the 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Many felt betrayed by Nike and even went as far as removing the Nike logo from their clothing and threating to boycott the sportswear company. On the reverse side, others praised Nike for their decision to make Kaepernick the face of their campaign. This comes to light just two years after Kaepernick was allegedly “blackballed” from the NFL for the controversial kneeling during the national anthem. This sparked a wave of criticism and praise for Nike.

In 2016, Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem to protest social injustice. After receiving backlash, under the argument that the protest was disrespectful to the troops, Kaepernick began to kneel after gaining approval from veterans. After the 2016 season ending, Kaepernick was released from the San Francisco 49ers. It was speculated that he was released due to his controversial protest. Going into the 2017 season he was unable to get deal from other teams in the league. Kaepernick and the National Football Players’ Association (NFLPA) would go on to sue the league for collusion, to keep Kaepernick from playing. Just the week before Labor Day the NFL attempted to get the case thrown out but failed to do so.

On Monday September 3, 2018, Colin Kaepernick was named the face of Nike’s and received a new Nike endorsement and clothing line. This sparked outrage on social media as many labeled Nike “anti-veteran.”

Lee Zeldin, a Republican representative from New York, was quoted as saying “Pat Tillman would have been a better choice for @Nike’s new ‘Just Do It’ promotion. Pick a former NFL player and Army Ranger who died for our flag and national anthem rather than [Kaepernick], a former NFL player who protested it.”

This was only one of the examples of many harsh criticisms towards the sports giant.

However, words were not the only form of protest towards Nike. Numerous people uploaded to social media videos of them burning Nike shoes, cutting the Nike logo from their clothing, and destroying Nike merchandise.

In light of this, Kelly Price tweeted, “Instead of burning/trashing/ripping/destroying @Nike products because of the Colin Kaepernick campaign, people should donate those items to homeless veterans… You know, because it’s about the troops, right?” As well as destroying Nike products, many threatened to sell their Nike stocks and boycott the company altogether.

On the other end of the spectrum, Nike received a lot of praise as well. The company was seen as caring for and giving a voice to a cause that has endured many attempts to silence it.    Army veteran, Eric Willis, said “I will continue to wear my NIKE ARMY boots, because like my fellow soldiers and those that have served before me, we ARE NOT disrespected by Kap. We joined so that we can continue to let others voice their opinions!”

Regardless of the political opinion, it is the general consensus that to make Kap the face of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign was bold and unforgettable. Some agree with the decision and others don’t. However it is extremely unlikely that Nike had no clue that this would happen

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Nike Stands With Kap