With the news of Nike’s choice of Colin Kaepernick as a feature spokesperson for the 30th anniversary of its “Just do it” campaign earlier this week, my social media feeds have been flooded.
On the surface, it appears to have been a slap on the face of the NFL from Nike on the eve of the NFL kicking off its 2018 regular season.
It’s a polarizing topic of conversation given a few facts:
w Kaepernick’s grievance against the NFL will go to trial. Kaepernick, who has been unemployed since the end of the 2016 season, alleges the NFL owners colluded to not sign Kaepernick in retaliation of his on-field protests during the pregame national anthem to bring attention to police brutality and social injustices.
w Nike, which is the NFL’s official uniform and sideline apparel provider, extended its partnership with the pro football league through 2028 in March. Nike’s TV spot featuring Kaepernick aired during Thursday’s NFL season opening game between last year’s Super Bowl-winning team Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons.
w President Donald Trump continues to publicly express his disdain of the protest, believing that kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful against the anthem, the national flag and the country’s military. He tweeted on Wednesday, “Just like the NFL, whose 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? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!”
A lot of what’s flooded my social media feeds has been screenshot images of Kaepernick with the quote, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” printed over his face and the Nike swoosh just below it.
A lot of it also has been commentary on Nike’s decision to use the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback for its campaign — some expressing their support and some showing their frustration against Nike.
But among the social media posts from people boycotting Nike are videos of them burning their Nike shoes or cutting the swooshes off their Nike socks.
It’s these videos that I find perplexing.
I highly doubt Nike will care much whether you continue to wear them or choose to destroy them after you’ve already spent your money for those products.
You refuse to support Nike and will no longer buy its products because you don’t support Kaepernick and/or the protest. Fine.
But if you’re a person who doesn’t support the protest and is inclined to burn your $100-something kicks, I would like to suggest an alternative: give them away.
Rather than reach for those blowtorches or prep the old barbecue grill, rid yourselves of them by giving them to people in need.
Donate them to the Salvation Army or any other charitable organization that serves Kauai that will make use of them.
There are homeless people on Kauai that roam the streets. I’d bet they’d gladly take your Nike gear if you gave it to them.
Anything is better than just torching your perfectly good shoes or clothes.
And at least this way, you can kill two birds with one stone. You’ll get rid of your unwanted stuff, and you can pat yourself on the back for your good deed of the day.
Just a thought.
Happy football season, everyone.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.