You got any in a size 7?
Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick was revealed yesterday (September 5) as one of the new faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign. An up close, black-and-white portrait of the athlete is tagged with the statement: ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything’.
Kaepernick, as well as being an acclaimed sportsman, garnered controversy back in 2016 – while playing as a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, he knelt down during the national anthem in protest of violence perpetuated against people of colour in the United States. The peaceful protest sparked a huge, powerful movement, as other players followed his lead. Critics called it “unpatriotic”, while president Donald Trump referred to Kaepernick and other players who took a knee as “sons of bitches”. Supporters have praised it as a passionate stand against ongoing police brutality and violence against black people. The athlete, not currently in an NFL team, has continued his work as an activist, pledging a million dollars to charities for oppressed communities and acting as as an ambassador for Amnesty International.
Since the Nike campaign debuted, Twitter has been alight with #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt – basically, critics, angry white people, and viscious conservatives have been posting videos of themselves burning their Nike shoes – obviously, burning footwear you’ve already paid is a pretty bizarre way to protest. Others cut the swoosh logo out of their socks and clothing. Maybe a better idea might be to #JustDonateIt?
The sane reactions to the new ad have seen People Online Who Make Memes ask all the raging racists to instead donate their shoes to them. Others call on boycotters to donate their stock, while many claim to be making like Nelly and clearing out the closest Footlocker of their Air Max.