Colin Kaepernick is the new face of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign

Kaepernick has gained many supporters since his first stand in 2016. Now, Nike is one of them.

Kaepernick has gained many supporters since his first stand in 2016. Now, Nike is one of them.

Anna Sun, AVT Editor-in-Chief

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Last Monday, Sept. 3rd, Nike released the “new face” of its Just Do It campaign for its 30th anniversary: Colin Kaepernick.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback started the controversial political stand against police brutality and racial inequality of taking one knee during the national anthem at football games.

Kaepernick has been the center of a lot of controversy and becoming the face of the Just Do It campaign has thrown Nike into the storm. People opposed to to Kaepernick’s actions have started burning Nike shoes in an act of protest.

Many people believe that sports and politics simply shouldn’t mix.

“Personally I disagree with [Kaepernick’s] message but I do defend his right to make the message. I think it is pointless [because] kneeling during the anthem will do nothing against the Trump administration and will only enrage Patriots, since one of America’s favorite sports is no longer fun or about football but is being used for a political statement.,” says AV football player, Preston Bernardi (‘20).

But, even so, the movement continues to gain momentum. On Sunday, two Miami Dolphin Players took a knee during the national anthem at their game against the Tennessee Titans, becoming the first to take a knee in the new NFL season.

Kaepernick applauds the two, calling them “my brothers” on twitter, ending the tweet with “Love is at the root of our resistance.”

President Donald Trump, one of the most avid voices against Kaepernick’s movement, criticizes the two players suggesting in a tweet that NFL views are going down because of the kneeling players.

Nike to the backlash with a full-blown video ad voiced by Kaepernick.

Besides the heavy backlash, many also support Kaepernick and Nike’s decision.

“I personally highly respect Kaepernick’s ability to persist in what he believes in, no matter the large backlash he has received. He risked his entire career for a strong belief he had, which is something not many people could do. Although, I do see where people who are angry about it are coming from, but how else do you make a point without having to defy the norm?” says Maham Khawar (‘19).

It has been revealed that Kaepernick has been in a multi-year contract with Nike since 2011, which includes contribution to Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights charity.

Some suspect that Nike may have calculated the backlash they will receive and is using it to their advantage as an advertisement strategy. Nike sales have increased by 31% despite backlash.

Since his first act of defiance in 2016, Kaepernick’s protest has gained a lot of momentum in two years, now including Nike in the picture. Kaepernick has been met with a lot of hate, but has also been met with many supporters, even being compared to Martin Luther King Jr. in his efforts against racial injustices. However, the real effect of his stand is still yet to be seen.

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