Nike Controversy with Colin Kaepernick – What Does This Mean For Nike?

Back to Article
Back to Article

Nike Controversy with Colin Kaepernick – What Does This Mean For Nike?

Pierce Garramone, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Nike is one of the most prominent and affluent clothing brands out there today. They manufacture millions of sport-based shoes, t-shirts, and other articles of clothing, targeting athletes of any age. It is one of the top-producers of apparel in the world. Recently, however, the company found itself in hot water after working with Colin Kaepernick in a series of advertisements.

For those who do not know, Kaepernick is an African-American, former NFL player, who is known for starting the infamous kneeling during the pledge trend in protest of racial injustice in the United States. His actions during the anthem resulted in his removal from the NFL back in 2016, causing a lot of controversy. Most people who were against Kaepernick’s actions claimed kneeling was “disrespectful to our military and our country.”

After the situation finally cooled down, Nike made Kaepernick the face of their newest series of advertisements. Along with many others, Kaepernick was displayed on a poster with the text, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

As a result of Kaepernick being featured in the ad, social media platforms, primarily Twitter, were sent into a frenzy, with numerous users partaking in the newest movement, #NikeBoycott.

Thousands of people involved are claiming they will burn their Nike apparel, typically footwear, in protest of Kaepernick being their newest face. They made it clear that they will not be purchasing any more Nike products, at least until Kaepernick is taken down from the ads. While many would believe the protests were all bark and no bite, Twitter user Phil Braun posted a series of 4 images consisting of him lighting his shoes on fire — while they were still on his feet.

And like many would expect, Braun was immediately rushed to the hospital afterwards, facing serious 1st and 2nd degree burns across his feet. Other than Braun, not many other users have been seen actually participating in this nationwide protest.

Unexpectedly, however, Nike’s sales have drastically increased by 31% as a result of the campaign.

So, what do you, the students at Central, think about these protests?

“They’re overreacting. The people that are burning all of their clothes are gonna want them back.” – Sarina, 12th Grade

“It was a good business decision on Nike’s part. They’re still giving Nike attention. Once all this controversy has died down, they’ll forget about why they hate Nike and they’ll go back to buying their clothes.”

– Barrett, 12th Grade

“I agree with the protests. The people have the right to be upset about Nike replacing Jordan with Kaepernick. However, I think it’s completely unacceptable to burn clothing and waste resources like this rather than give them to people who really need these things.”

– Jake, 11th Grade

“I feel like burning their products is irresponsible and isn’t a good way of showing their feelings toward the new campaign. However, I don’t agree with the campaign either. I feel like Kaepernick kneeling was disrespectful and displayed himself as a negative person.”

– Emma, 11th Grade

We don’t know how Nike will react to the blend of positive attention and hate. However, it’s safe to say a company as big as Nike will continue to be successful for many years to come.