Opinion: Kaepernick as face of Nike ad is good

Dissent has been brewing over the former QB spearheading the campaign

Photo courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com | Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was selected as the centerpiece of the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign. There was much controversy surrounding Nike’s decision.

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

This is the tagline for Nike’s 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, featuring Colin Kaepernick as its face.

The choice was a controversial move on Nike’s part as Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who is currently unsigned, has been under fire since 2016 for protesting during the playing of the national anthem.

He kneeled during each singing of the anthem before games in an effort to challenge various social issues in America, including police brutality and racial inequality.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told the Wall Street Journal last week.
His actions inspired both teammates and opposing players alike to do the same.

While Kaepernick hasn’t played football professionally since the 2016 season, he remains a figurehead for social activism in our country. He has donated $1 million to “organizations working in oppressed communities,” which led him to collect GQ’s “Citizen of the Year” award in 2017.

While Nike’s stock dropped by three percent after Kaepernick was named the face of the campaign, sales shot up a staggering 31 percent after the flagship ad video titled “Dream Crazy” debuted. This gave more insight into what Nike’s goal was when choosing the face of the line: to inspire those to stand for what they believe in and not shy away from adversity.

I personally really like this move from Nike. It shows that they’re not afraid to take risks as a company in order to inspire potential consumers. Nike’s tagline is powerful, highlighting the idea that morals outweigh materialism.

The video is uplifting, stating that our goals are possible if you’re crazy enough to have them. Although this was one of the company’s most risky moves to date, it seems to be paying off in a big way.

Sure, you could consider Nike “crazy” for choosing one of the biggest risk-takers in sports history to represent their main line, but I say who’s better suited than a man who put his career in jeopardy to stand up for what he believes in?

In other words, Nike’s actions show that they are not necessarily backing Kaepernick for his social or political beliefs but more so the fact that he’s staying true to himself.
The point of the ad is to motivate others to do the same, not spark some dramatic socio-political controversy.

At the end of the day, these are values that make America what it is.

Even if we don’t agree with each other, we’re entitled to our own opinions and are allowed to speak our mind, and we shouldn’t let anyone tell us otherwise.

In Nike’s case, they value motivation and the concept of how they would word it, to just do it. So will you?

By: Tre Doan | Guest Writer