Nike vs. America

Francesca Ortiz, Writer

On Thursday, Sept. 6, Americans around the nation tuned in to the opener of the 2018 NFL season between the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles. As part of the opening day advertisements, Nike ran their “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick as the narrator.


Kaepernick became a controversial figure in late Aug. 2016, when he chose to not stand for the national anthem at a preseason game in response to police brutality against people of color around the nation. Throughout the season, fellow athletes united with him and chose to kneel during the national anthem.


At the beginning of the month, Nike released a teaser featuring a close up of Kaepernick’s face with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” which caused some people to take their Nike products and burn them in response.


Senior Ethan Macias believes that the burning of the shoes is not justified.


“Nike should still be allowed to use him [Kaepernick] in their ads because he’s a famous athlete,” Macias said. “Nike does not represent a political opinion. They make sports products. It shouldn’t be about the political opinion of the person on their posters. It should just be about what they[athletes] do, which is play sports.”


The majority of sports fans come to agree with Macias’s point in saying that the burning of shoes is not necessary.


Miguel Franco, 12, feels that the burning and destruction of Nike products is unnecessary.


“[I think it is] stupid and unnecessary,” Franco said.“There are other ways to show that they don’t support someone that kneels during the national anthem.”


Another concern rising is: How is this ad going to affect Nike?


The answer: Nike is at its peak. Following the release of this ad, Nike increased 170,000 instagram followers, while stock has increased 4.81% in the last month.


Aldo Ruiz, 12, believes that this campaign can be explained as a smart marketing technique.


“It will pay off in the future where we look back and see how Nike was very progressive,” Ruiz said. “After all, they get more publicity, regardless if it’s seen as good or bad.”


Kaepernick was outed from the NFL in response to major backlash from people, including political figures such as President Trump who called out Kaepernick and called for him and other players to be fired.


Colin Kaepernick was the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2016, and as of now is a free agent, meaning he does not play for a team.