Colin Kaepernick featured in the latest Nike advertisement.
Besides its popular footwear and apparel, Nike is a brand known for encouraging people to push physical boundaries and break social norms. After the release of a new campaign, Nike is now pushing political boundaries and it is facing immense backlash.
On Sept. 3, Nike announced Colin Kaepernick would be the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The ad displays a close up of Kaepernick’s face and a quote that reads “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The campaign follows controversy from 2016, when Kaepernick sat and later kneeled during the National Anthem of an NFL game to protest police brutality and the mistreatment of African Americans.
With Nike’s bold marketing move many people including President Donald Trump, believe Nike is jeopardizing its business.
“Just like the NFL, who’s ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way?,” Trump said via Twitter.
Stock charts provided by Yahoo Finance show an approximate drop of 3 percent in sales between Aug. 31 and Sept. 4. But since the initial drop, stocks have begun to rise again.
With the release of Nike’s second campaign on Sept. 5, disapproving fans flooded the internet, giving their opinions about the initial incident during the National Anthem.
Out of spite, outraged customers created a new trend called the #burnyournike challenge, aiming to burn all Nike products they own.
There have been mixed reviews of the Nike campaigns from customers of different backgrounds.
The Beacon Staff went to the Nike Factory store located on Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., to hear what shoppers had to say. The interviewees wanted to remain anonymous, but they expressed opposing views.
“That was disrespectful. The boy shouldn’t have done that,” one customer said when discussing his disappointment toward Kaepernick.
“He’s a good role model for our youth and Nike is smart. They know what they [are] doing,” another customer said.
Twitter user and Nike customer Brian Krassenstein will continue to purchase from and support the company despite the backlash.
“There will be backlash with anything regarding race…I stand for the anthem, but I also never walked in the shoes of a black man. To judge someone for actions like this is irresponsible. Everyone’s experience as Americans are different and unique,” Krassenstein said.
Morgan Ady, an NFL fan, supports Kaepernick’s decision to protest but is in opposition to the NFL letting him go from his position on the field. Ady believes the Nike campaign serves a good purpose.
“I would want [the campaign] to motivate people, find someone who has been motivated their entire career, as well as facing below average odds,” Ady said.
Nike is backing a cause Kaepernick kneeled to stand against, which to some, is seen as disrespectful towards the country and American troops.But military veteran, Damon Jones, supports Kaepernick “100 percent,” and will continue to purchase products.
“I am in a funny position because I am a black military veteran and some people say that Kaepernick is disrespectful to the flag and veterans…I am not offended and Kaepernick’s protest was aimed toward injustice…my veteran status or patriotism has not been in any way disrespected.”