Believing in a Cause

Nike receives backlash after releasing new ad

by Sam Lopez, Staff Writer

Nike recently released their 30th-anniversary ad with controversial former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the frontman, and it has the public divided. The ad says “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” referencing his failed NFL career after the start of his national anthem protest.

“He’s doing a good thing sacrificing his job and popularity to raise awareness about social injustices in our country,” senior David Cruz said. “I think they did the right thing to use him to get his message across because it’s important.”

Kaepernick started the protest in the 2016 NFL season, where he would kneel to raise public awareness of the police brutality and racial inequalities in the United States. He gained many followers in this movement, as many NFL players taking a knee during the anthem in honor of his protest. However, much of the public sees his protest as disrespectful to veterans that died and their families. 

“I think kneeling during the national anthem is very rude,” senior Delcan Nordin said. “It’s disrespectful to the veterans that died and their families. If you ask me, they are the ones who really gave up everything.”

Nike received severe backlash when the ad was initially released. Many people burned Nike products in response to the company supporting Kaepernick. Nike’s stock had also dropped 3% after the ad was released.

“I believe that Nike’s decision to advertise Colin Kaepernick was a mistake from a logical business standpoint,” senior Hunter Andrews said. “[I believe that] as a company, you must stay neutral in politics to receive maximum profit. Now that t[Nike] has shown they stand with Kaepernick, [I think] many customers will choose not to buy their gear.”

Nike has recovered from losing millions to now being sold out of multiple products for the past week. While Kaepernick’s career in the NFL may be over, he profited heftily from the ad. Nike has proven to stand for Kaepernick despite the backlash that was received.

“Nike can do what they want with their business,” senior Josh Bunker said. “ They’re going to realize their actions have drawbacks. If they see him as an inspirational figure then that’s fine, even if people don’t agree, Nike can run their business however they please.”