As I read my Facebook/Twitter timelines it occurs to me that Nike using Colin Kaepernick as their spokesperson has really riled some people up. Let’s boil this down to what Kaepernick has done:
- He exercised his right to free speech and to peacefully protest police brutality, this was not protesting the anthem or the flag, that was just the stage that he used same as Tommie Smith and John Carlos in Mexico in 1968.
- He basically made himself a pariah in the NFL because he wasn’t good enough to be that big of a distraction and still be a starting QB in the NFL.
- He has continued his work even while being out of the league by donating to police training and helping to reduce excessive force and racial profiling.
- Now Nike has dropped an ad campaign with Kaepernick with the title “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”
What Kaepernick did by peacefully protesting is what America is all about. Is America great? You better believe it, but at the same time, America also has some flaws that we need to work on. Kaepernick put his entire livelihood on the line in the same vein as Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Tommie Smith, and John Carlos. Kaepernick was bringing awareness to a problem in American society that needed attention and had the stage of the NFL to do it. The peaceful protest leads to Kaepernick being an outcast in the eyes of the NFL. It turned out Kaepernick wasn’t a good enough QB to still be in the league with the distraction he would have brought to the team. Colin has not played an NFL game in two years, because he decided that his cause was more important than his playing career. Kaep has proven that he is dedicated to his cause by continuing to raise money for excessive force training and racial profiling. Two days ago Nike launched an ad campaign depicting Kaepernick with the saying “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”
The outrage to this ad has been unbelievable, I had a 2 hour Facebook discussion about it and I was essentially agreeing with this person the whole time. Here is the problem people want a 100% win about everything. They need a black and white answer to every question, well guess what people we live in an intensely grey world. I was reading this morning and people were all up in arms about the way Kaepernick was exercising his rights and I also read veteran responses answering “I did not protect your freedoms so that I could tell you how to use them.” This is America there are no 100% wins that is because we have freedom and are not run by a police state.
America was founded by a group of immigrant protestors that were tired of being oppressed by England, and they wanted change. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lead peaceful protests all around the south as part of the civil rights movement to exact change. Peaceful protests are a great part of American history and also what makes America great. What also makes America great is the fact that we can have these discussions where no one is right but that we also do not have to fear for our lives because we disagree. In America Kaepernick is allowed to peacefully protest, Nike is allowed to hire him as their spokesperson, and if you do not like that you are allowed to boycott all Nike products. This is the way America works and this is the way America works best. Everyone has their own individual rights to express and exercise how they want without the fear of repercussion from the government. Democracy is not easy my friends if it were everyone, would do it. God Bless America!