Nike is a trend-setter in the world of sports apparel. Now, the nation’s leader in athletic footwear and gear is tending on a different topic ... signing controversial Colin Kaepernick to head an advertising campaign which is sure to further divide the country on the national anthem protest, kneeling and the flag.
The NFL has been trying to distance itself from Kaepernick and his kneeling during pre-game Star Spangled Banners, but the movement is still moving. And now, the NFL has to deal with Nike, one of the league’s main corporate partners, putting Kaep as the face of their new campaign, which will use the catch-phrase “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
To me, that phrase applies not to Kaepernick, because he really hasn’t sacrificed everything. He is still a multi-millionaire who probably cashed in nicely from Nike for this campaign. Sacrificing everything, I think, goes to Pat Tillman, who dropped his lucrative NFL contract and joined the armed forces to fight for our freedom after the World Trade Center attacks. He died during combat and truly sacrificed everything for that flag and that anthem. To put Kaep on the same page as Tillman is an insult.
Once people found out about this campaign, Nike lost $4.2 billion is market capital. Other reports have Nike gaining because of this promotion.
National police organizations have called for a boycott of Nike, while other organizations are fully behind the ad campaign.
See how divided this is? And it’s going to get worse. Nike provides athletic gear for many teams, many colleges, many high school and youth teams. Are they all going to have to pick a side? If they wear the “swoosh” will they be stating they support Kaepernick? In this society of joining sport and politics, this is what it comes to.
People have been posting videos on social media depicting the burning of Nike gear.
John Rich of the musical group “Big & Rich” showed a pair of Nike socks and posted a photo to Twitter, stating, “Our soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike, multiply that by millions.”
There is even a hashtag started called #BurnYourNikes.
Who knows why Nike is doing this. Are they using this situation to sell more gear? Do they really believe in Kaep’s cause and believe in kneeling during the anthem? Are they going to actually do something to promote Kaep’s cause? It is too early to tell, really. I just know that when you get political these days, you are alienating half your customer base. Will Nike take a hit in sales? Like I said, time will tell.
But the slogan is what bothers me. Kaepernick lives in a 5,000 square foot home in San Jose, Calif. He signed a seven-year, $126 million contract just four years ago. And I bet Nike is making his bank account balloon.
So “sacrifice everything?” Hardly.
Ask Tillman’s family about sacrifice, and you’ll get the real answer.
I wonder if Nike will go so far as to design a line of Kaepernick gear, complete with socks depicting police officers as pigs and showing Fidel Castro with a Nike swoosh on his military hat?
You went this far, Nike. Go all in on Kaepernick. Just do it. We dare you.