I assume by now you have heard the controversy surrounding the newest Nike ad. Colin Kaepernick became the face of Nike and Americans found another reason to hate each other. While fervent liberals became inspired and ran out to purchase as much Nike as they could, racist conservatives threw a temper-tantrum and burned as much Nike as they could. Passions were flying, people were shouting, social media was exploding, shoes were burning, and sales were booming. All of this uproar, yet neither party actually did anything to help their cause.
If you haven’t seen the Nike commercial yet, definitely check it out! It’s heartfelt, inspirational, and passionate.
Just watching this commercial makes you feel a sort of adrenaline to stand up (or kneel) for what you believe in. Having Colin Kaepernick urging Americans to “believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” shows that Nike genuinely believes in the urgent changes that need to happen in America…or maybe they just want to make you think they do. Whether you’re heart fills with hope or disgust while watching this ad, buying or burning Nike does absolutely nothing except make the rich richer.
According to Edison Trends, online Nike sales have gone up by 31% and according to The Washington Post, Kaepernick’s 49ers jersey is among one of the best-selling in the league. What does this mean? For the conservatives posting videos of themselves online with fits of outrage, this means that burning your already-paid-for Nike sneakers has done nothing except give Nike free advertising. Put down the matches before you hurt yourself and turn off your cameras because everybody else is laughing all the way to the Nike stores. For the liberals feeling like their actually making a difference by purchasing Nike gear, this means that the only difference you made was an increase in Nike profit.
Why isn’t increasing Nike profit a good thing? After all, the company has shown their dedication to urgent progressive movements. Well, according to Open Secret, this is not even remotely true. Open Secret reveals that in 2018, Nike gave 78% of their political contributions (about $424,000) to the Republican Party, the same party that has a president in power trying to demonize football players for kneeling against racial injustice. When you break it down, big corporations like Nike survive on capitalism. They don’t really care about racial injustice; they pretend to care because it gets you to care about their products.
While I can sit here forever and talk about the doom and gloom of the Republican Party and capitalism, there is one silver lining that we can take from this. Nike knew that we would care about Colin Kaepernick and his stance. Sales boomed for them because people care. Conservatives made fools of themselves because they cannot stand to be in a world where someone like Colin Kaepernick is respected and where a majority of people care about social equality. This whole ordeal shows that we can and that we are making a difference. Our voices are powerful. We are certainly not going to make a difference by buying into a corporate lie, but we can make a difference in numbers and in passion.
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Nike: Just Do It, Conservatives: Just Burn It, Liberals: Just Be Fooled By It: www.youtube.com, www.opensecrets.org, www.vox.com, www.abcnews.com