Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick earlier this week was named the face of Nike’s 30th anniversary of “Just Do It” campaign, and just as you would think America has lost its marbles. Colin Kaepernick shared his Nike ad picture on twitter and the message was clear, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Colin Kaepernick has spent the last couple of years speaking out publicly on police brutality, inequality, and discrimination. His “Dream Crazy” advertisement with Nike featured LeBron James, Serena Williams, and many more athletes. The Nike ad makes no reference to when Kaepernick took a knee, but it falls in line with the famous “Just Do It” campaign Nike is known for.
Though many NFL quarterbacks gain recognition from mostly what they do on the field, Colin Kaepernick became a household name when he decided to kneel during the national anthem in a preseason game in 2016. Kaepernick has yet signed with a team since that season and filed grievance for collusion against NFL owners. In light of Nike’s new ad and reveal of working with Kaepernick, they have received both praise and backlash. #NikeBoycott was trending on twitter and Nike shares fell on Wall Street. Videos were even posted of people burning their shoes and other Nike apparel like socks and shirts.
— Kolten Conrad (@conrad_kolten) September 4, 2018
Kaepernick starts the ad by saying, “If people say your dreams are crazy if they laugh at what you think you can do — good, stay that way, because what nonbelievers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult, it’s a compliment.” Not only is Kaepernick solidifying his stance on taking a knee years ago but he is inspiring people to just their judgment and chase their dreams. The message is no dream is too big to come true, no journey or goal is out of reach. Though people may not believe in you or think you can achieve greatness, you can do anything you put your mind to. The ad included Shaquem Griffin a rookie NFL linebacker for the Settle Seahawks who made it to the NFL with just one hand. Many people doubt he can play or even be drafted, but he was just named a starter for the first game of the season. The ad tackles issues outside of pro sports as well, like an Ironman participant who lost over 100 pounds and recovered from a brain tumor, and a football-playing homecoming queen.
President Trump was quick to tweet about the ad saying, “Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.” Trump led the attack on the NFL when various players followed Kapernick’s lead, kneeling during the national anthem. But, of course, other athletes came to Kaepernick’s’ support like LeBron James and said: “I stand with Nike, all day, every day”. Kaepernick’s message is inspiring and uplifting athletes across the globe. Nike stuck their neck out for Kaepernick throwing their support his way, but when you believe in something, you Just Do It.