The Nike Controversy

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Nala Wilson

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The Nike Controversy

Colin Kaepernick for the new Nike campaign. Photo licensed by Creative Commons 2.0

Colin Kaepernick for the new Nike campaign. Photo licensed by Creative Commons 2.0

Colin Kaepernick for the new Nike campaign. Photo licensed by Creative Commons 2.0

Colin Kaepernick for the new Nike campaign. Photo licensed by Creative Commons 2.0

The controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick being the new Nike spokesperson.

On September 3 of 2018, on it’s 30th anniversary, Nike made decisions on a new spokesperson. A spokesman is defined as someone who “makes statements on behalf of a group.”

Nike typically chooses athletes that are exceptional in their sport and have strong moral values. This means that they keep a clean profile that shows how hardworking and dedicated they are. A few of Nike’s spokespeople are Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, and Tiger Woods. The newest spokesman is former NFL San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

Thirty year-old Colin Rand Kaepernick is currently a free agent in the National Football League.

He was drafted in 2011 by the San Francisco 49ers as quarterback. He played for 5 years and set and broke records. On August 2, 2016 he was spotted sitting on the bench during the National Anthem before a game.

Kaepernick explained his reasoning for this two days later. He was sitting to bring light to the mistreatment toward people of color and the increase in police brutality. The next game he kneeled instead of sitting. After a conversation with a former member of Green Beret, a special forces unit of the United States Army, it was decided the kneeling is more respectful.

Kaepernick has reiterated on multiple occasions that he means no harm and disrespect when he kneels. It is not directed at anything other than what he wants to bring light upon.

Since his initial protest, Kaepernick has donated millions of dollars to various charities. Most of the charities that he has donated to focus on the racial injustice common in the world today. Kaepernick, in turn, has lost many fans and receives criticism daily. On the other hand, many people respect how much courage he had to begin this journey. Many people have also committed themselves to the same cause.

Kaepernick put everything on the line when he decided to take that knee. In light of the risk, his campaign for Nike is captioned “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

As an open minded journalist, I believe in practicing one’s Freedom of Speech. I also believe that Kaepernick is just respectfully exercising this right. No harm has been done, and hurt feelings are easily mended.

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