The power of action: Colin Kaepernick
Across the land of the internet, people have destroyed their Nike products and posted it on social media to protest the company’s newest face of their “Just Do It Campaign: Colin Kaepernick.
Why? Back in 2016 during a NFL football game, Kaepernick refused to stand during the pregame national anthem and bravely kneeled throughout the verses. This former football player claimed that he kneeled to protest against police brutality and unfair treatment toward the african american people, saying that he “could not show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” (Vera 2018). This act had Kaepernick receiving commemoration for standing up for the african american community, but it also gave him serious backlash by offended Americans. Critics, including President Donald Trump and heads of NFL itself, heavily retaliated Kaepernick’s acts through every outlet of online communication, from twitter to deep articles. The amount of disapproval and hatred toward Kaepernick eventually caused him to opt out of the NFL football league since teams would not take him as a player.
Now, two years later, Kaepernick is representing the Nike brand with an iconic black and white photo of his face captioned with “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”. The release of this image as well as the controversial advertisement video starring Kaepernick has prompted serious outcry, with many trying to persuade Nike to drop his face from their campaign. So far, Nike has not done so.
In my opinion, Kaepernick’s actions were the right way to go about his protest. The NFL explicitly stated that their players are not required, but encouraged, to stand during the national anthem. The way he handled the silent protest without breaking any rules was the best way to protest against police brutality toward african americans.