Just Do It Nike and Kaepernick (buy or boycott?)

I had a whole other blog planned for today but I had to type up a new one for you today!

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Recently Nike and former 49ers QB, Colin Kaepernick revealed that he had been endorsed all this time. His deal signed back in 2011 had never been severed despite Colin not playing in the NFL since being fired. Kaepernick is probably more known for his silent protest than his quarterback stats after taking a knee during the national anthem in during several games during the 2016 season. Well now he is the new face of Nike. The Nike Dream Big ad seen (full add seen below) has already been viewed over 8 million times on YouTube, over 6 million times on their Instagram account and shared countless times everywhere else.

In attempt to revamp the logo “Just Do It”, which has been around since my childhood, Nike is trying to reach a demographic of “woke” urban youths. That being said since word got out, people have already turned this into race relations and have been on both sides of the fence. It’s like living in a real live sequel to Higher Learning (if it were to happen…just saying).

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On one side you have black Americans who support Nike and Kaepernick versus white Americans who do not. Then somewhere far right, you have Donald Trump who has again tweeted his opinion that no one asked for but expected. His last tweet a tad toned down but still “classic Trump” as he expressed his discontent Nike.

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This almost as to the point as previous tweets about NFL owners/coaches who allow support of silent kneeling protests (made popular by Kaepernick) and more recently Nike. You even have folks posting videos on social media of themselves burning Nike apparel.

I can understand boycotting and not supporting Nike, giving their purchased gear away or selling it on eBay…But to simply burn it?

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Maybe it perplexes me and I’m trying to understand the logic but you do realize that you’ve already supported them, right? They have made their money off of you and boycotting usually means “not” supporting someone.

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But whatever, who am I to judge rednecks? Alrighty then…moving along!

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On the other side, you’ve got folks buying Nike everything or at least sporting Nike stuff whenever possible. Hey I am all for that but don’t go trying to impress people with money you don’t have to buy stuff you don’t need. Like if you or your kid needs something athletic, ok fine. All I’m saying is don’t go in the Footlocker and go crazy only to realize that you’re broke trying to pay rent.

My thing is I actually applaud Nike but not because I like the ad…or not. But because as a former marketing major (for like a semester)…it makes sense or in this case dollars. OK this is why:

  1. They waited for the perfect time right as the NFL regular season was about to go under way.
  2. They targeted the black dollar. Black folks are known to spend a lot on shit. (we gotta look fresh)
  3. As a non-white consumer, I am not sure about the apparel purchasing habits of white Americans but I know black people have always clowned around about how white people keep wear the same sneakers forever. Like I said, I don’t know how true that is but if that stereotype is factual…then I don’t think the sports apareal conglomerate is afraid.

Nike ain’t stupid…clearly! NKE stocks climbed just after a brief drop and it held steady by the close of the day a shy amount $80… I will stay updated with their stocks as the days go by to see if I am right. Like I said, I’ve got a semester of know-how.

That being said, this country is still divided as ever. Perhaps as much as it was in the 60’s (I don’t know for sure because I wasn’t alive. Yet between this and so many tensions flaring…it’s scary. Not too long ago we had protests for both Black Lives Matter and whatever that Tiki torch bullshit was. The crazy part is that this and the political climate craziness is everywhere. I mean I cannot go on Instagram, Facebook or anywhere without seeing something race-related or otherwise political. Social media is now the platform for which everything is visible immediately. Long gone are the days of waiting for the daily paper or the evening news. This poses a dangerous issue because it only tells me that racism and so many other “isms” haven’t changed, it’s just being filmed.

It makes me wonder about the backlash that Tommie Smith and the other 2 Olympic winners faced in 1968. Their careers done because of a moment protesting against racism, poverty and awful oppression that blacks faced then and sadly are facing now.

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This protest much like Kaepernick’s has had the alt-right call these athletes unpatriotic or un-American, etc.

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But how do you show patriotism to a country that enslaved, beat, killed and caused so much worse to your brothers and sisters abroad? As much as I love my country, I am equally not proud of it. Although a sporting event is probably not the best place to protest or be political, the sad problem is that racism in this country should no longer be ignored. That being said, honestly it doesn’t matter where we protest, blacks will always be scrutinized for taking a stand. Look at Dr. King after he made his famous speech about the Vietnam War… but like Tommie Smith said in an interview in 2008, “…We had to be seen because we couldn’t be heard.”

But this is the problem with this country. Why is a man kneeling or raising his fist more controversial than cops beating a man to death or shooting him or worse when kids are being attacked with dogs and fire hoses?

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Now I am not saying that all cops are bad or that all whites are bad but there is a fine line between effectively using “force” and brutality. Why are we in such a tizzy about one thing and blind to another? The above 3 photos are from the 60’s and below a lot more recent. Read here I feel about HOW BLACK LIVES MATTER? Makes you think how fucked up this country really is.

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I mean it’s funny, we call Colin (I’m sorry but I am getting tired of spell check with his last name) disrespectful & unpatriotic but we won’t speak out against what he is protesting for. Mind you a green beret was the one who told him to kneel as opposed to sitting! He also supported his Constitutional right to protest. Colin has also expressed his respect for the armed services. If kneeling is so disrespectful, why do soldiers kneel for the fallen or everyone else in prayer? And again, there is actually no law saying that we have to stand during the national anthem…in fact the Constitution says it’s unlawful to force people to do so.

That being said… if I have this straight, we protest Nike for a PR campaign about racial injustice but where was this concern in the 80’s and 90’s when they paid unfair wages and used child labor/sweat shops? Really?

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Gotta love the “privilege” of saying there’s no racism but enjoy the benefits not being black…all of this often blows my mind. But again… This is America.

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Until later kiddies,

Shalom

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