Quick Thought: A multi-billion dollar company finally taking a moral stance

Picture of the “controversial” 30th Anniversary Ad featuring Colin Kaepernick – Courtesy of AdWeekly.com

“Just Do It”

If you haven’t heard… Nike, yes the biggest shoe manufacture in the world has finally done it! One of the few multi-billion dollar companies in the world has finally taken a moral stance on a social justice issue that has plagued this country since it’s inception: police brutality and the unjust killings of unarmed men of color by law enforcement. Nike did the “unthinkable” by having Colin Kaepernick (former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback) added to their star studded roster of individuals branded for their 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign.

Picture of San Francisco 49ers players’ Colin Kaepernick (7) and Eric Reid (35) are seen kneeling in their form of peaceful protest against police brutality during the National Anthem of a NFL regular season game – Courtesy of ESPN.com

Kaepernick posted the news on his social media with the new ad message stating: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike signed the former NFL quarterback in 2011 and kept him on its endorsement roster throughout the years but haven’t used him over the last two. Outside pressures of the unwanted attention during the kneeling practices during the National Anthem of NFL games could have been a part of their reasoning for not using him during that period. A quote to ESPN by Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s Vice President of brand for North America, stated the following: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.”

“The Backlash”

The backlash for the addition of Colin Kaepernick in Nike’s ad has sent a few folks to the edge. Those individuals who have been adamantly on the side of the argument regarding not to peacefully protest during the National Anthem have taken to the streets to literally burn their Nike gear. Now my only question to those who are doing the burning, “who is it really hurting?” Literally, the act of burning the clothes because of the ad is one thing, but the act of peacefully protesting for a social justice issue such as police brutality is another. If you don’t understand the difference in the protest, try to focus on the intent in which both protests were founded on and then ask yourself, “how does it make sense?”

– Da’Von Yates


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