Don’t mistake Nike’s capitalism for activism

Colin Kaepernick

Nike has made NFL star Colin Kaepernick the feature athlete in the 30 year anniversary of the ‘Just Do It’ slogan.

The controversial quarterback first made the headline in 2016, after taking a knee during the US national anthem before a San Francisco 49ers game in protest to racial injustice. Kaepernick had no idea of the domino effect that would follow.

Soon he was out of a job and last year accused NFL teams of colluding in an effort to keep him out of the league altogether.

But despite not touching the pig skin for nearly two seasons, the Kaepernick jersey – incidentally made by Nike – is one of the top selling NFL jerseys. The Wisconsin native also remains in the headlines, as the NFL’s request to have Kaepernick’s collusion accusation was thrown out by an independent arbitrator just last week, meaning he will get a hearing.

As such, Nike was quick to take advantage of a man that risked everything for his beliefs and make Kaepernick the new face for the iconic slogan.

Remember, Nike is in the business of making money, not siding with one belief or another. While Kaepernick also gets a slice of the pie (deservedly so given his sacrifice), Nike stands to benefit from the illusion that they back his cause.

The release of the advert had an interesting reaction on social media, with some fans burning their Nike gear and others cutting up their socks.

You can bet your bottom dollar Kaepernick didn’t anticipate this madness when he took a knee that sunny September afternoon.