Colin Kaepernick ad: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Madison Pruitt, Sports Writer

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The biggest apparel company world wide. The starring sport of the most watched television broadcast in history. Controversy defined in a set of ads. Colin Kaepernick, once a well known quarterback in the NFL, now becomes an outcast due to him taking a knee during the national anthem. Jobless in the league, the football star now moves his stand opposing violence against african americans to a different outlet. He now shows his face as the head of Nike’s 30th anniversary advertisement line.

The Good:
Nike made a powerful stand when it sided with someone like football player turned activist Colin Kaepernick. It’s rare to find someone as serious and committed to making a difference, so when a leader emerges and is backed by one of the biggest, most booming businesses in the world, the movement is sure to stand out and have an influence.
Another causation of the Nike sponsorship, looks to be the overall previous success the organization has with taking big risks. Nike’s first risk was moving to have the first black men to be the head of an ad campaign, such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. The company also took a risk with the heads of their tennis apparel line being the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus.
The company has dared to act already, and proceeded to come out on top.
When Muhammad Ali made his peaceful protest about the Vietnam War, he was a lot less popular than Kaepernick is today, and yet we remember Ali as always being a big, bright figure for the movement against the action taken by the country at the time. Nike is taking the bet that when people look back on this time when Kaepernick is seen as someone fighting against the flag, he will eventually be seen as someone who was in the right. Nike is hoping to be on the right side of history.

The bad:
When an establishment such as Nike takes a side on such a touchy subject, there are bound to be repercussions.
People have taken their anger to social media, posting photos and videos where they cut the iconic swoosh out of socks and burn shoes. Many claim that the ad is disrespectful to people who disagree with Kaepernick’s actions, to the flag, and to all veterans who risk their lives for their country.
It may be true that it is not a major company’s place to take such a political stance and force consumers to reconsider buying its product due to politics, but it’s a risk that can be taken.

The Ugly:
To get to the bottom of it, the whole problem comes to respect. Do you respect your fellow humans? Do you respect the people who stand for their country on the battlefield? Do you respect the the man who risks his job to peacefully protest for those who are continuously falling victim? Both types of men deserve to be noticed as people who stand for what they believe in, not ridiculed because you don’t agree.
Nike jumped a barrier when it signed Kaepernick, moving people to either accept him kneeling (even if only for the brand they love) or to take their business elsewhere. The company took a risk, and so far, it has paid off. Labor day weekend, after the ad was released, Nike’s sales jumped 31 percent, according to the TIME. Say what you want about the choice, but it is only paying off for the business, and the dollars will keep rolling in. Nike is a company out to make money, but caring about the people who support them and who support their own ideas is worth risking the profit.