The Student Newspaper of Murray State

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Just keep doing it

Ex-NFL quarterback has become the new face of the Nike “Just Do It” campaign. (Photo by TMZ)

Story by Adam Redfern

Staff Writer

[email protected]

Nike released its 30th annual “Just Do It” campaign Monday, and this could be the most interesting campaign yet. The face of the campaign is ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. This is an interesting choice, not only because Kaepernick hasn’t played in an NFL game in two years, Kaepernick has also faced an enormous amount of backlash after he chose to kneel during the national anthem before each game in the 2016 season.

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”

Nike’s controversial decision to use Kaepernick as the face of their campaign sparked social media conflict. Some who disagreed with Kaepernick’s protests posted videos burning their Nike gear, while others told them they should donate those clothes rather than ruin them.

Nike chose a very interesting time to announce Kaepernick as the face of their campaign, with one week before the NFL season. Kaepernick filed a collusion lawsuit against the NFL when he failed to secure a player contract, stating he believed team owners agreed to keep him out of the league.

Nike was smart to choose a side on this disagreement. Not only is it a decision that will bring more attention to the company, but it will bring more attention to the reasons why Kaepernick was protesting in the first place.

It is nice see a multibillion dollar company back an athlete who has chosen to be more than a player on the field and to use his social status for the betterment of society. It is something this country needs at this moment.

Athletes who have worked their entire lives to reach the top tier of their respected sports should have the option to use their earned social status to voice their political opinions. Athletes have every right to choose sides on political issues, just as much as any other American. However, something these athletes can do that the average person cannot is voice their own opinions on a platform that millions of people watch and devote part of their lives to.

The path Kaepernick has taken has not been an easy one. He could have rescinded his opinion on the matter of cops killing unarmed people of color, and he would have been able to continue his career in the NFL and made millions.

Instead, Kaepernick chose a path of hardship and persecution from the very fans he performed in front of every week. He chose to stand for something that he believed in when he could’ve kept quiet and made money, leaving the people who were being gunned down without a voice.

Kaepernick chose to step into the role of being a vocal proponent of this social justice movement when it meant he would lose his job and any other future opportunities in the NFL.

You cannot fault someone who is willing to sacrifice everything just to get their message out in a nonviolent manner. The right to free speech is something that makes America great, and if people cannot handle someone who exercises their basic rights, they are not true Americans.

The people who are burning and destroying Nike gear for their political stances are the problem.  They could instead donate these items to their local Veterans Affairs and accomplish both their goals of supporting the military and ridding themselves of their Nike gear.

If people feel Nike has taken a stance against the military by using Kaepernick as the face of the campaign, they have completely misunderstood Kaepernick’s reasoning behind kneeling and what our military fought for in the first place.

More to Discover