Colin Kaepernick’s powerful Nike “Just Do It” campaign, featuring athletes of all ages, genders, nationalities, religions and races, striving for the best against all odds, was one the sports company’s most passionate campaigns.
Since the campaign took off, the active wear company’s shares went up to an all-time high. The shares reportedly increased by around $5 billion. People who admired Kaepernick for being the initiator of the “Take A Knee” social movement, under which more than 200 NFL players went down on their knee, linked arms or stayed in their locker rooms during the national anthem before a game, to protest against racial discrimination and police brutality against African-Americans in the country, loved the new Nike campaign.
Meanwhile, some who thought their admiration for Nike was taking away from their love for the flag, the troops and the anthem, strongly slammed the company for making Kaepernick the face of their new campaign.
They even destroyed their Nike purchases.
The Texas Farm Bureau and Mississippi Department of Public Safety decided to ban their employee from using Nike products.
Soon after the ad was made public, the NFL issued a statement on social justice.
All of this was giving one message: Nike was becoming a voice for the movement symbolizing the racial divide in America.
Surprisingly, President Donald Trump who called anyone who doesn’t stand for the anthem a "son of a bi***" and told his supporters such players should be fired, wasn’t very harsh while tweeting about the advertisement.
And that is because, Nike, the company making money from a social injustice movement, has been a major tenant for the president’s Manhattan tower for years.
“Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent,” the president told The Daily Caller in an Oval Office sit-down. “As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way… it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”
Turned out, the company has donated millions of dollars to Republicans.
According to a report by Yahoo Sports, “Nike employees and its political action committee have donated more than three times as much money to Republican candidates as democratic challengers for the 2018 election season.”
Nike’s past includes some troubling reports of the company moving its sweatshops to other countries after reports of them using child labor made headlines and people started protesting. The company has been on the wrong side of social equality previously and had used its power to suppress protests against the injustices happening inside the company.
In the present, when Nike had all the chance to stay on the right-side of history (so to speak) after a successful, woke ad campaign, the company acted like a profit-making corporation instead of a fighter for social justice and donated money (most of which was made from Kaepernick’s powerful campaign) to the Republicans – a party that is made of conservatives who usually don’t stand up for the rights of people of color.
Joshua Hunt from The Atlantic has very rightly pointed out that, “One of capitalism’s most enduring myths is the idea that there are good corporations and bad corporations. The truth is far more simple: Colin Kaepernick has a dream, and selling dreams is Nike’s business.”
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