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In the Long run: Nike doesn’t care about your opinion. They’re just doin’ it.

Michael Long

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“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” These words, plastered over a simple black and white headshot of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for a Nike ad, have caused complete mayhem.

Anyone who gets on social media has seen the backlash of Nike’s decision to make Kaepernick, the man who started the anthem protests in the NFL a couple years ago, the face of their “Just do it” campaign. Sneaker bonfires and Nike boycotts seem to be popular options for those looking to express their anger about this.

I find both of these amusing, because, one, how is destroying clothes you’ve already purchased going to impact a company? And two, Nike’s online sales have jumped 31 percent since the ad first ran, according to Complex News.

Anyways, people are furious that Nike chose a guy that won’t stand for the National Anthem. They call him un-American, when in reality, he’s the most American football player out there. He recognized how poorly minorities were being treated, which has been an issue since we first stepped foot on this land, and used his rights as an American citizen to peacefully protest on the enormous platform of the NFL.

To me, there is nothing more American than looking a major social issue in the face and taking it head on by using your First Amendment rights.

However justified Kaepernick’s reasons for protest were, he was still rewarded with a kick out the door by the NFL, as no teams would sign him as a free agent in 2017. This makes Nike’s ad with Kaepernick even more perfect in my book.

The words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” apply to Kaepernick so well. He believed that he had to try to stand up (well, technically kneel) for the horrible mistreatment of minorities. It may have cost him his life as an NFL quarterback, but his message is bigger than football.

Another great thing I see in this is the fact that Nike even took the plunge with Kaepernick. With all the people that despise him, Kaepernick is seemingly a risky investment. Billion-dollar companies don’t have a tendency to make risky investments, but Nike is making a move that goes beyond sports and money, which is why I am completely behind it.

Nike is more focused on the social change rather than the backlash, and let me tell you, they’re experiencing some major backlash aside from the boycotts and burnings. According to an article on the Rolling Stone’s website, Nike employees had to go through tons of customer phone calls since the start of the campaign, many of which were filled with pure hate. An employee in the article said that one customer called and said that it doesn’t matter if “a few cops kill some ni****s every once in a while because black teens shoot each other every day.”

This is the type of hate and unfairness that Kaepernick has been protesting against for the past few years in the NFL, until that was snatched away from him. Fortunately, Nike gave him his stage back, and hopefully this will make a change.

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In the Long run: Nike doesn’t care about your opinion. They’re just doin’ it.