It would be a massive understatement to say that the controversy surrounding the national anthem protests is not going anywhere soon. In addition to the NFL not having a resolution in place despite the fact that the regular season begins on Thursday, Nike has again shored up its bona fides as the company willing to take risks in support of not only what is right, but in support of Black people by making Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th anniversary campaign. Yes it is a company that is seeking to profit off of this movement. Yes we are aware of its outrageously priced Jordans and its less than stellar labor practices. But this is a business like every other, and it exists to earn profit; and while others such as Adidas opted to shun or otherwise make their support of Kaepernick conditional, one must respect that Nike has demonstrated once again that it is willing to step into tumultuous territory. As many have noted, Nike owes much of its largesse and success to Black athletes like Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson who were instrumental in catapulting a then young company into sports apparel supremacy. And Nike signed these men when it was not necessarily routine to have Black athletes as the face of one’s entity.
With moves such as these, as well as its most recent bold stances in support of Serena Williams following the French Open’s ludicrous rule changes directed at her, Nike has again stepped up to the plate with this Kaepernick branded line and campaign unveiling. I am personally not a fan of endorsements unless it is clear how the company is investing in and positively impacting the Black community; but credit must be given where due. And Nike has earned a nod for its actions which have resulted in the expected apoplectic reaction from white racists everywhere. Ridiculous spectacles of these geniuses burning merchandise (already purchased) and otherwise expressing their disdain for…a man who exercising his right as a citizen not to participate in a nationalistic ritual due to systemic racism and police brutality. This is America. Indeed.
Article below by Andrew Beaton at wsj.com.
Nike Inc. NKE 0.40% will feature Colin Kaepernick, the National Football League quarterback who led national-anthem protests, in a new advertising campaign, a move that joins one of the NFL’s biggest business partners with a controversial star who is engaged in a high-profile legal battle with the league.
Read the rest here.