Nike is over.
At least that’s what many anti-Colin Kaepernick fanatics would like you to believe. But when looking at the numbers for online sales Nike has had a 31 percent increase.
Colin Kaepernick, once quarterback of the NFL’s ‘49ers, is now a major player in the Black Lives Matter Movement after kneeling during the national anthem at a game in Aug. 2016.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick had to say in an interview after the game.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the ‘49ers shortly thereafter and since then, talk of the controversy has been nothing short of national. Now, popular athletic brand Nike has taken their metaphorical stand alongside Kaepernick after using him as the face of their new ad campaign.
The backlash against Nike has been, trivial at best. People who hate Kaepernick have taken to Twitter and Facebook to post videos of themselves cutting the iconic swoosh off of their socks or burning their $104 pairs of Air Jordan’s.
Of course, Nike had already made a profit off these people. They wouldn’t be able to destroy their merchandise if that hadn’t already bought it, obviously.
Even the president has had something to say in regard to the new ads, with a tweet simply reading “What was Nike thinking?“ but clearly not even the commander-in-chief’s opinion matters.
It’s safe to bet that when Colin Kaepernick was beginning his career he never imagined he would go from having a character in Madden to becoming the face of a movement that would put him at the apex of one controversy after another.
What I do know for sure is this: Colin Kaepernick is exactly what celebrities need to be.
Kaepernick used his voice and his platform to spark a conversation about something that really matters, and Kaepernick did. He risked his career to raise awareness to a cause that means something to him and so many other Americans.
“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Reads the new Nike ad featuring Kaepernick.
Nike followed in Kaepernick’s footsteps. They were willing to use him as the face of their campaign, knowing totally well how much controversy using this former-NFL player’s face could potentially cause.
Simmons Consumer Research found that luckily for Nike, 78 percent of their consumers are liberal. Meaning that their decision to publicly back Kaepernick and therefore what he stands for – Black Lives Matter – was actually a genius move on the part of Nike.
So, is Colin Kaepernick leading the revolution? Is Nike? If you see someone wearing a Nike jacket are they proving themselves to be some real-world Katniss Everdeen?
Nike’s ad and Kaepernick’s kneeling are only small twigs in the fire of the revolution. They’re two pieces of a much bigger picture – a picture trying to build a bridge of equality and if we the people can’t see that for what it is, our problems are even bigger than an ad campaign.