Burn, Nike, Burn!

Lydia Curry

It’s the first amendment to the Constitution, but the moment it goes against conservative beliefs, it’s disrespectful.

Colin Kaepernick was one of the National Football League’s best quarterbacks and was loved by fans and sports enthusiasts alike for his amazing talent. His story goes to show just how much race divides our country whether we admit it or not.

In September of 2018, Nike announced that Kaepernick would be the face of its 30th anniversary of the“Just Do It”campaign, with the words “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”, which brings attention back to the issues of why Kaepernick kneeled in the first place.

The former 49ers quarterback’s choice to kneel was not to disrespect our troops, but to bring light towards the systematic oppression and police brutality evident in our country.

The way the NFL handled Kaepernick was not okay nor was the way the President attacked him for his peaceful protest. Now, things have seemed to spiral more out of control and more away from the point that Kaepernick risked his career for.

People who believed that what Kaepernick did during the anthem was wrong began to burn their Nike shoes and cut holes in their socks where the Nike swoosh is.

All of this burning and smoke in the air is reminiscent of another group that enjoys burning things to prove a point.

More recently, conservative and somewhat backward views have been taken from the home to the workplace. The Texas Farm Bureau and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, two major agencies, have banned their employees from wearing Nike.

None of their employees actually wore Nike on the job, but this was done to supposedly keep their views in line with all of the other conservatives. As if they believed that now standing up to oppression was a personal belief and should be expressed at home.

What right do these departments have to tell their employees that they can’t wear a brand because it has different views than theirs? It only seems to prove Kaepernick’s point of why he knelt.

It goes to show that an oppressed/black person can trust that Nike is looking out for them and sees what’s happening in this country, but an actual department of the federal government does not agree that we should bring attention to the fact that people are shot down in the streets everyday.

It gives the belief that freedom of speech is not a right that black people and people against this horror are granted, but it’s only one to those who have views in line with the government.

It’s been proven time and time again that any publicity is good publicity, and Nike’s sales have actually increased since the campaign (contrary to what the President may want you to believe). Whether it’s from people wanting to buy to burn, or buy to support the protest.

Truthfully, there is absolutely no harm being done (except to people experiencing police brutality and oppression) to kneeling during a song.

Never did Kaepernick say that he hates America, but that instead he wants to better the country for everybody. At the end of the day that’s what everybody wants, right? To make the world a better place?

Ignorance, something that the United States thrives on, is what seems to make these “protestors” to the protestors forget about why he did what he did.

Some will come out and ask: Why did he have to choose the National Anthem, something America bonds over? Honestly, no one thought much of the anthem before this. More importantly, how can someone love a country that constantly shows that it will do nothing to protect them?



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