In moments of strife and debate within the country, football player Colin Kaepernick’s recent endorsement by Nike caused intense controversy as many feel that his kneeling protest was disrespectful and a blight on American veterans.
The release of the Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick with the quote “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” has led to many debates within the Da Vinci community. According to Junior Kassidy Sandoval, “This quote is important to me because if you really believe in something then you should stand up for it.”
Some people retaliated in burning their Nike clothes, shoes, and other Nike products, while others praised Nike for their risky move. At the time, it seemed risky but, according to Edison Trends,”Nike online sales grew 31% over labor day weekend & Kaepernick ad campaign.¨
It’s been more than two years since Kaepernick, who at the time played for the San Francisco 49ers, sat down on the bench during the national anthem instead of standing. This went unnoticed for two games until media caught on to what he was doing. This was only the beginning of his protest. He stated in an interview with NFL Network conducted on August 27, 2016, that the reason for his protest during the national anthem is, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” After receiving backlash from the military he decided to take a knee and raise his fist.
A common reason why people are on the edge about Kaepernick’s protest is because they haven’t taken the initiative to understand the reason behind it, making opinions based on what the media and big public figures have to say,President Donald Trump stated, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”
Even though Kaepernick was protesting police brutality many still interpreted his actions in different ways. Dylan Colwell, a senior said, “I support the military. I support American rights.. Taking a knee is not an exact form of disrespect. From what I have heard it has been seen as a form of disrespect. I am not sure if that was his direct intent, but that is what a lot of people take it for. That is what a lot of media sources portray.”
A lot of backlash about the protest soley comes from people not knowing the protest is about. On the other hand, there are students who support Colin Kaepernick and his protest.
“I support his kneeling towards the flag because he can do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to protest the national anthem then he has the right to protest the national anthem,” said senior Isaak Mouring. “You can’t take freedom away from somebody. If you take freedom away from somebody then you might as well call it an authoritative society because you’re taking freedom away.”
Despite not being able to play football Kaepernick continued to be vocal about his beliefs and used his platform to help those who aren’t. During his last season before being released Kaepernick donated a million dollars of his salary to organizations and communities that benefited kids who aren’t as privileged as others. He started a camp called “Know Your Rights,” which teaches people about the rights they are entitled to as a citizen of this country.
Even with all the debate and controversy, Kaepernick continuous to stay close to beliefs. With all the backlash given toward him Kaepernick communicated, ¨I’ll never take the easy way out.¨