Yes, I ‘Believe in Something’

(Nike ad campaign)

Of course, Nike made the right call with Kaepernick for ad campaign

Colin Kaepernick, former 49ers quarterback became the face of Nike’s 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ ad which caused an uproar in the internet world.

Kaepernick showed his activism with his infamous kneel during the national anthem at the first NFL game of the season in 2016. Kaepernick commented that his actions do not show disrespect, but to take a non-literal stand to a larger issue. Either he is disrespecting the flag and others who have fought for our country or on the other hand, he kneels with the intent of peaceful protest. The pros and cons of his actions are endless, and every person has an opinion on his kneel.

Kneeling to the national anthem shows our right to freedom of speech and as an American citizen, that belief is not shown enough. Now, flash forward to present day and the ad itself sums up his past argumentative actions.

“Believe in something.” The Nike ad stated in a black- and-white photo of Kaepernick. “Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Shortly after the ad aired, the hate started. The Mayor of Kenner, Louisiana decided to not promote any type of Nike affiliation in department stores, according to CNN. It gets more dramatic. Twitter users have coined the hashtag #BurnNike in honor of disagreeing with Nike’s choice. Even Fox News co-host of Fox & Friends, Tucker Carlson believes it is an “attack on the United States,” The Daily Beast said. Valerie Scogin, a teacher at a Louisiana high school posts a racist rant in a reply on Facebook about this ad, Tri-City Herald said.
These teachers are the ones who shape the thinking of the younger generation, right? Nike does not seem phased, in fact, they’re thriving.

“We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who have leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.” Gino Fisanotti the brand marketing VP of Nike said to ESPN.

Kaepernick fights to bring attention to the ongoing police brutality and unjust discrimination of minorities but also fights for the ability of free speech. He has become an advocate of any- one whose voice goes unheard and for the justice of our country. There is a bigger picture with his decisions. Standing up for what you believe in brings out positive and negative emotions, especially about individuals who are being discriminated their skin color.

It leads to a conversation between us that could help resolve these conflicts of discrimination. Choosing Kaepernick as the representative of Nike’s ad validates what he believes in and that what he stands for is being heard. Even with the backlash that this ad formed, it spiked online sales.

“Nike sales grew 31% from Sunday through Tuesday over Labor Day this year, besting 2017’s comparative 17% in- crease,” according to Edison Trends’ report.

Kaepernick’s actions lead to an increase in sales for Nike, so is this really a bad ad choice on Nike’s part? The ad leads to getting a response to the public, and whether people believe in the same beliefs as him or not, he created a rise in sales for Nike. Realistically, this was a great call on Nike’s marketing to add him in this campaign.

Having a voice in this country means that the majority will try and silence you. They will spew out anything and everything to knock down your confidence. Kaepernick influences others to not be quiet about what is just. Peacefully protesting about a view that is being ignored is not an issue in this twisted world. Be the person who stands up for what you believe in and it might actually pay off, literally.