On Tuesday, Sept. 4, Nike aired a commercial that sparked controversy throughout the nation.
This commercial featured ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick narrating examples of people who believe in their dreams and never let anyone say they’re too big.
Nike is known for its motivating ads and professional athlete appearances, but none have received more water-cooler attention than Kaepernick’s. It is the end of the commercial that has prompted outburst. The quote read by Kaepernick at the end says, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
This is clearly alluding to the “Kaepernick protest.” In late 2016, NFL player Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the National Anthem instead of standing. Kaepernick justified his protest when he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Needless to say, Twitter was buzzing. Jemele Hill, Sports Journalist, tweeted, “laughs in hypocrisy at all the people who were all good with Nike when the company was accused of abusing kids in sweatshops but are sooooooooo outraged at the Colin Kaepernick campaign.”
Those offended by Nike’s recent campaign went as far as burning and cutting up their Nike gear. Critic Mat Molonia posted, “All of these people burning their expensive Nike shoes because of a commercial and not one of them thought about just donating them to someone in need
Every single one of you is shameful.”
Although there were many who attacked Nike and Kaepernick there were also many supporters of the topic. Lakers Basketball Player Kyle Kuzma says, “Boycotting, @nike because of a man that is trying to make the world a better place shows you where we are as a county still.”
And it doesn’t seem that the opposition is working because Nike announced that Kaepernick would be the new face for their ad campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” slogan.
Kaepernick simply responded with his original tweet, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt”