Sure, Supreme might be able to make bank off of a newspaper, but nothing says true influence like taking a stand against the issues that matter – especially one as seemingly divisive as Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protesting of police brutality and racial inequality during NFL national anthems. Hats off to Nike, though, for standing behind the former NFL star by making him the face of their new campaign:
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Much like the acts of protest that propelled Kaepernick to the front of a partisan firestorm, Nike’s support of Kaepernick seems to have proven to be equally as divisive, inspiring both support and condemnation across the board. In the “for” camp aren’t just a handful of Kaepernick’s fellow NFL buddies, but also the tennis queen herself, Serena Williams, along with idol of America Kelly Clarkson:
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) September 4, 2018
Two thank you’s today….
1. Thank you @Nike for simply backing what you believe in. One of the best parts about this country is the freedom we have to express ourselves.
2. 16 years ago today the people of America changed my life and I will be forever grateful & appreciative 🙏
— Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson) September 4, 2018
Kaepernick’s kneeling and the protests it inspired did not go down well with a certain contingent of Americans, and it doesn’t seem like did Nike’s support of Kaepernick is, either. A number of detractors – among them the “Rich” half of horse savers/cowboy riders Big & Rich – seem to have taken to the internet to showcase their defacing of Nike products (that they’ve already paid for, worth nothing) in protest.
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4
— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
With the partnership’s announcement already having reached over 250,000 retweets in the 24 hours since its posting, it’s certain that a major sports brand’s support of Kaepernick – let alone one as big as Nike – gives the inspiring message to the athletes that risking one’s career comes at the cost of being on the right side of history. Regardless of your thoughts on the campaign, Kathy Griffin seems to have the right idea as to where all the money is (thankfully) going: