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Nike Takes Courageous Stance and Supports Kaepernick

By Jack McGinn ’19

On September 5, Nike released an advertisement starring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick first gained a spotlight in the news in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial oppression toward people of color. The message of his protest quickly became controversial. Despite constant reiteration of the meaning behind the protests, it has been misconstrued by many Americans and media outlets who believe the movement is disrespectful to the flag.

The commercial was previewed with a closeup of Kaepernick and a central focus on the powerful words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Kaepernick narrates the commercial as inspirational stories of young athletes defying the odds take place. These stories range from a girl breaking societal norms and playing high school football to a young boy with no legs taking part in a wrestling match.

The advertisement repeatedly encourages people to “dream crazy.” Many Nike athletes, including LeBron James and Serena Williams, appear toward the end of the video to show where dreaming big can take you. Kaepernick also uses James as an example of an athlete using their platform to do more than just sports; he references James’ new school that he helped bring to his hometown.

Just like James and Williams, Kaepernick dreamed big at a young age to make it to the largest stage in sports. Now, he dreams of a world with equality and justice, which is something that should not have to be a dream for anyone.

Kaepernick concludes the video by saying “don’t ask if your dreams are crazy; ask if they’re crazy enough.” This commercial isn’t all that different than most other Nike commercials, but the presence of Kaepernick and many of his lines shows a clear larger meaning: Nike is in support of the movement Kaepernick started against racial injustice.

Nike’s support of Kaepernick caused immediate threats of boycott from many Americans, but Nike’s sales have actually increased, and their stock reached its highest point ever this past week.

The choice by Nike to make a commercial of this magnitude on such a divisive issue is brave and admirable. Nike held true to the message of the entire commercial; they believed not only in something, but someone.


Photo Source: https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/dfa32d8ae79aa300ce6a8d17191e4862a16612b1/c=0-0-3000-1688&r=1280×720/local/-/media/2018/09/04/USATODAY/usatsports/xxx-cp-colin-kaepernick-nike_133.jpg?quality=10

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One Response to Nike Takes Courageous Stance and Supports Kaepernick

  1. Sam Schiffman

    September 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Great conclusion to the story!!!

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