Nike releases commercial featuring Colin Kaepernick that will play during NFL opener
In 2016, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick risked his job to start a movement. Before football games, he took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. It was a peaceful way to protest the many shocking cases of white police officers killing unarmed black civilians. In many cases, these horrific acts were captured on video, and the officers were not prosecuted or convicted for excessive use of force.
This movement sparked anger from critics, who believe taking a knee during the national anthem somehow disrespects the American flag and insults the military. One of the loudest critics, President Donald Trump, referred to the protesters as "sons of bitches" and even called for them to be fired from the NFL. Evidently, the owners were listening. Since 2017, Kaepernick has been without a team, reportedly blackballed for having the audacity to participate in a peaceful protest.
This week Nike announced Kaepernick will become the face of their new advertising campaign. As you might expect, the critics were outraged, calling for a boycott and burning their Nike products in retaliation. It is unclear how burning expensive products you purchased is an effective protest, but hey, at least they remembered to take their shoes off first.
In an interview, President Trump said he disapproved of Nike's new campaign. "I think it’s a terrible message that they're sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it, but I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it." (As previously stated, the "reason" is to protest racial inequality and police brutality.)
Earlier today, Nike released a full commercial starring Colin Kaepernick that makes a powerful statement. The two-minute ad features professional athletes, like Serena Williams and LeBron James, plus inspiring amateur athletes, like a football-playing homecoming queen and an Ironman participant who recovered from a brain tumor. There is no footage of NFL players taking a knee, but many phrases allude to the protest.
"People say your dreams are crazy, if they laugh at what you think you can do, good. Stay that way. Because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult, it’s a compliment...
"Don’t try to be the fastest runner in your school, or the fastest in the world. Be the fastest, ever... Don’t settle for homecoming queen or linebacker; do both. Lose 120 pounds and become an IronMan, after beating a brain tumor. Don’t believe you have to be like anybody to be somebody."
Kaepernick provides the narration, and appears on camera, saying, "Don't ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they're crazy enough." And it all ends with the words, "It's only crazy until you do it. Just do it." Well, Diddy hasn't hired Kaep yet, but at least he got a gig.
The commercial is reportedly scheduled to play during the NFL opener on Thursday night.