Last month, the popular athletic brand Nike reached an all-time high in the stock market, and the recent sponsorship deal with ex-football player Colin Kaepernick has something to do with it.
Nike released their 30-year “Just do it” campaign with Kaepernick being the face of the promotion. Kaepernick, who in 2013 made it to the Superbowl with the 49ers, hasn’t snapped a ball since 2016 when he decided to start kneeling for the National Anthem in protest for racial injustice in the United States.
“Kap is standing up and bringing light to an issue that people are uncomfortable talking about,” L&C student Justin Walker, a sociology major, said.
Kaepernick took a lot of backlash for this from the conservative media, and even President Trump got involved on Twitter saying that players who don’t stand should be “suspended or fired.”
“I used to be a huge Kaepernick fan until he started kneeling, and I feel as if he disrespected all the people who fought for our country,” L&C student Easton Clark, a business major, said.
Kaepernick has been in a legal battle with NFL owners ever since his contract ended for a possible collusion against Kaepernick in keeping him out of the league.
Some view his kneeling as a lawful protest against the police brutality and find it symbolic of a need for change. Others think it is completely disrespectful to our country, veterans and fallen soldiers.
Last month, after the announcement of the Kaepernick-Nike deal, videos started surfacing all over social media of people burning their Nike gear and cutting the Nike logo off of their clothes.
People on the more progressive side of the coin remarked that instead of burning and cutting the quality clothing apparel, they should donate the apparel to charities supporting struggling and homeless veterans.
Although some people ruined their Nike gear, the majority of people seemed to support Kaepernick-Nike’s message and their new slogan “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Nike seemed to have taken a huge risk by choosing to side with Kaepernick, but it seemed to have paid off with their price of its stock rising to the highest it has ever been.