The madness behind the Nike outrage

Nike's ad with Kaepernick. Photo Credit:

Nike's ad with Kaepernick. Photo Credit:

Danielle Parran, Contributing Writer

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Colin Kaepernick. The one who sparked the Nike madness.

The 49ers’ quarterback knelt in a preseason game on Sept. 1, 2016, to raise awareness about police brutality. Nike then later signed a deal with Kaepernick which fueled the fire. Literally.

People are cutting the Nike swoosh out of shirts, socks, and jerseys, and even lighting Nike’s products on fire. The reason for all madness is that people are upset with Nike because they signed Kaepernick. In my opinion, doing this doesn’t send the right message. If you want to get a company’s attention, you’re better off not buying their products rather than buying them and wasting money through burning it.  

Over 20 NFL players have knelt during the National Anthem and many more are starting to follow. Players are either kneeling to protest racial inequalities or police violence to minorities in America. Some players are still standing during the National Anthem while others are raising their fists to show solidarity with Kaepernick.

Kaepernick has a wide range of support from his team- for example, the cheerleaders have also started to kneel.

Kayla Morris is revealed as a cheerleader, for the 49ers, who also knelt during the 49ers game against the Raiders. Many people have the controversial stance of whether this is a brave or dumb idea.

The kneeling became a controversial issue with Nike, as later that year (2016) they signed Kaepernick for their 30th anniversary. With this, Kaepernick was also banned from playing future  games. Nike’s deal with Kaepernick was set to expire, but he was later resigned for the face of the “Just Do It” campaign.  Many people were shocked by this decision, while others thought that this was a great decision to make as it raises the awareness of police brutality. Kaepernick’s ultimate goal was to raise awareness about police brutality.

963 people. Dead. All dead. Because of police. Police brutality. Nike signed Kaepernick as they also believe that all this police brutality should stop. No one wants hate. No one wants police brutality. Kaepernick and Nike are working together to stop police brutality. I believe that with Nike signing Kaepernick with his kneeling, provides a good movement to raise awareness of this nationwide issue.

Others believe that the kneeling and signing disrespects the flag. The veterans that fought for the freedom. Freedom. Something that seems to be lacking in this situation. If individuals had this so-called freedom, Kaepernick and Nike would not be this controversial issue; most people hating on them.

I think that signing Kaepernick provides a strong and sentimental image that can touch many people. Everyone has things they want to fix in the world, for the greater good, and Kaepernick is trying to get people to fight for a good cause.

Aaron Jeter, a history teacher at SHS, has a strong opinion on why it was a good idea to sign Kaepernick.

“I think it was a great decision to sign Kaepernick and tie it into their ‘Just Do It’ campaign. Jeter said. “Sometimes one has to actually just make a decision to act instead of just talking about it.”

On the other hand, Melissa FitzGerald, a health and physical education teacher at SHS is one person who doesn’t agree with Nike signing Kaepernick.

“I’m not a fan of the fact that they used him to represent their brand, but ultimately it is a business,” FitzGerald said.    

Although people aren’t happy with Kaepernick’s campaign signing, ultimately it increased the profit of Nike. Making him the face of the ad as well as creating a video with him can really inspire many people to make a change in something they truly believe in. It has been used in Michelle Speelman’s class as a “Motivational Monday” inspiration video. Every Monday Mrs. Speelman plays a video to motivate her students at the beginning of the week, so they start strong. To go after what they want to achieve. What they believe in.  Just like Kaepernick and police brutality.

The fact that Nike signed him after he kneeled has many people in frustration as they believe it disrespects the National Anthem and offends the American Flag.

“I think the kneeling is [kinda] dumb because it’s not where we are, it’s from where we came from, how far we’ve come. And that’s what the flag represents,” said Matt Cox, a sophomore at Solon High School said.

However, others like the fact that Nike signed him as they believe he is displaying a powerful image.

I believe the kneeling is a brave move to make by the NFL players as they want a change to occur. For a change to occur someone or something must ignite the first. Like, ignite all the fires. All the Nike apparel.

“I don’t think the destruction of products sends the right message.” Jeter said.  “I can understand not wanting to wear it anymore, perhaps donating unwanted Nike apparel would be better a solution.” The Nike outrage is based on views of different people. Yes, the kneeling was a brave thing to do as it created a message, that you should do something about a situation regardless of the consequences, but the Nike burning and boycotting is unethical. Overall, the people who wanted to boycott Nike and give them a bad reputation failed. Nike ended up increasing their sales by around 31%. Kaepernick made the right decision by kneeling against police brutality. As well as Nike with signing him. Nobody wants to see 963 people dead. Dead because of police brutality.

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