Nike Scores

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Nike Scores

Kate Meyers, Sports Editor

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People across America have been in an uproar about Nike’s new face of the company; ex-NFL player and racial injustice activist, Colin Kaepernick.

In the beginning of 2017, Kaepernick began the movement of kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness about racism, specifically police violence.

Kaepernick faced lots of backlash from viewers who saw his protest, they argued that kneeling for the national anthem was not patriotic, and disrespectful to veterans who fought for the freedom of this country.

It is especially disappointing that the NFL for signed him off as a free agent, and that no one recruited him the next season. They clearly did not understand the message Kaepernick was sending, and if they did understand, it is disheartening to see the way the NFL chose not to stand for racial equality.

In reality, the intention was not to disrespect veterans or to shame the foundation of our country, it was instead to bring attention to the discrimination against people of color in our country.

The protest actually represented patriotism; as this country was founded on the notion of freedom of speech and of expression. Kaepernick, using his platform to spread awareness about the inequality in our country, is hardly unpatriotic. It demonstrates the way we need to see change in this country if it’s going to be one we’re proud of.

The fact of the matter is that racism isn’t a quality to stand by, no matter how much pride in our country we’re supposed to have.

The intention was not to disrespect veterans or to shame the foundation of our country”

“I realize that men and women of the military sacrifice their lives for my freedom of speech and for my freedom to take a knee, so I have the utmost respect for them, and I think what I did was taken way out of context and spun a different way,” Kaepernick said, clearing up the misunderstanding of his message for those who were angered by his kneeling.

Though he was blackballed by the NFL, Kaepernick released an ad for Nike via Twitter with his face on it and the message, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

While the ad itself was not overly political or biased, and made no mention of his “taking a knee” viewers can infer that it was making a reference to his activism, and his contract also includes a donation to his charity, the “Know Your Rights” foundation.

In reaction to Nike’s partnership with Kaepernick, many angered Nike customers began to boycott the company, and even destroy their own Nike items.

Pictures have been posted all over social media of people burning their Nike shoes, cutting the Nike logo off of their socks, and even blow torching their Nike clothes.

This is an immature way of expressing their disagreement, and it’s worse for them than it is for Nike to destroy items they’ve already paid for.

Over the past year, Nike sales have come up 61% and their stock has come up almost 7%.

If people continue to spread the message of equality, hopefully, they will open up their eyes to the harsh reality that our country isn’t perfect; but we can work towards it. A country worth standing with is one that treats everyone with equal respect, and pointing this out doesn’t make Nike or Kaepernick a villain.

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