By Carina Lopez ’20
In the year 2016, Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, sat during the national anthem, before a pregame. Kaepernick chose to not stand for the national anthem, “to protest what he believes is widespread oppression and brutality carried out largely by the police against minorities,” as explained by Sports Illustration.
After this massive controversial event, the nation roared with many opinions. Even President Donald Trump gave his input, “I watched Colin Kaepernick, and I thought it was terrible, and then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming, and frankly[,] the NFL should have suspended him for one game, and he would have never done it again”. Kaepernick explained that he meant no disrespect for those who have served/ are serving the country. That is why instead of sitting down Kaepernick decided to instead kneel after army veteran Nate Boyer expressed “to him, maybe there’s a different way of demonstrating, where you’re showing more respect for those who laid down their lives for what that flag and anthem stand for,” Boyer suggested “kneeling, because people kneel to pray; we’ll kneel in front of a fallen brother’s grave.” Many other NFL players supported Kaepernick and have and are kneeling as well. Just recently, Miami Dolphins’ receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled during the national anthem.
Well, you may be wondering what all of this has to do with Nike. Let me explain.
Recently, Nike has launched a new campaign which showcases athletes such as Serena Williams and LeBron James. However, this campaign has sparked mass controversy due to the appearance of Colin Kaepernick. Yes, the same NFL player who first sat during the national anthem back in 2016, and has kneeled during many more.
This has sparked mass debate over the country. Mostly around Nike consumers. Many videos have been surrounding the internet of consumers burning and/or throwing away Nike apparel, along with many claiming that they will no longer support Nike. There, however, has also been positive reactions. With many supporting Nike and their decision.
Nike is a very popular brand around Pritzker. Many students are seen with their Nike backpacks and clothing. What do students think of this major Nike stunt?
Jacqueline Martinez, a Junior, expressed, “Nike, in my opinion, is a good brand; I feel that Nike has the right to support or agree with [whomever] they want.” Also stating her support, “I agree with Nike, they are bringing attention to a real issue and showing their support.”
Alexa Martinez, a Junior, expressed, “I believe it was a great idea that Nike backed up Colin Kaepernick because I don’t think other brands would have the guts to do it.” She expressed that she would continue to “support them because there is so much violence going around and Black people aren’t getting the justice that they need. I don’t think Nike is supporting anything bad.”
It should be noted that the Nike stock has continued to increase and decrease, as of recently.
What do you think? Did Nike commit a mistake or are they doing something good? So, will you continue to support Nike?