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Nike Chooses Kaepernick

Caity Dawes, Staff Writer

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On Tuesday, September 4th, Nike released its official new marketing campaign for its 30th anniversary. The ad used Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback, as the face of the campaign. Originally posted to Twitter, it was a picture of Kaepernick with the words “Believe in something. Even it means sacrificing everything.” Immediately, the major sports retailer faced major criticism due to the involvement of the controversial player.

For those who don’t know, Colin Kaepernick was a starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49’ers from 2011 to 2016. Besides leading the 49’ers to the Super Bowl, the athlete’s career has been with controversy starting in the 2016 football season. Kaepernick, citing racial oppression and police brutality, started to kneel during the playing of the national anthem before games. This act sparked a league-wide movement, and today, players can still be seen kneeling or even staying in the locker room during the national anthem. Critics believe that it’s disrespectful to the flag and the military that fights for the freedom to kneel, with supports saying that every American has the freedom of speech.

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Kaepernick’s career started to fade since the kneeling began, with him opting out of his contract with the 49’ers in 2017, and is currently a free agent but is not on any roster. Nike has been slammed with backlash, with people posting videos of Nike shoes burning and the infamous swoosh being cut off socks on social media. Nike stock dropped 3.9% as of Tuesday, but in the past few days, athletes like Lebron James have rallied to Colin and Nike’s support. NFL Spokeswomen Jocelyn Moore released a statement saying “the social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”

Although the ad stirred up tension, Nike will continue to use the ad, and the deal with Kaepernick runs until mid-2019. Looks like the two sides will have plenty to debate over the next few months.

About the Writer
Caity Dawes, Staff Writer

Caity Dawes is a Junior, and this is her first year on The Falcon. She grew up in Rhode Island, and moved to North Carolina in 2007. Caity is most excited...

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