Did Nike make the right decision to use Colin Kaepernick in their latest "Just Do It" ad campaign?

Colin Kaepernick was the former NFL quarterback who infamously knelt during the United States national anthem before football games, which he described as his silent protest against racial injustices in the United States. Proponents of the ads feel Nike is taking a brave and bold stance and supporting freedom of speech, the right to peaceful protests and speaking up when you feel there are injustices. Others also feel it was a smart business decision that would generate media buzz and increase sales. Opponents of the ads feel that Nike is supporting someone who has disrespected the United States, our flag and everyone who has fought and died in support of the United States. They also feel that even if it was good for sales it was the wrong thing to do.


This was another passionate discussion and there were strong opinions for and against the Nike ads.

Most of those that were opposed to the ads were opposed because they felt Colin Kaepernick was wrong to protest during the national anthem and cited reasons such as: he disrespected everyone who has fought, served and/or died defending the U.S; he was paid to do a job (play football) and he was protesting during his job and not on his own time; his protest wasn't effective - he could/should have protested in a different way at a different time and created more positive motion rather than division. Others also opposed the ads because they didn't feel Colin Kaepernick was that good of a football player and that he used the NFL and the protests to call attention to himself. Others felt it was a bad business decision for Nike (but many others quickly pointed out that Nike's stock price and sales improved after the ads ran).

Those that supported Nike using Colin Kaepernick in the ads cited several reasons including: the ads recognize that Colin's protests brought tremendous attention to civil rights and racial injustices; they were a smart business decision since the media amplified the ads and gave Nike a large amount of free press (and their stock price went up); Colin sacrificed his career for the protests and was willing to take a lot of heat for promoting what he believed was important. Supporters also felt that Colin was very clear that he was protesting racial injustices and not the flag or the military, and that people were misguided to make it about the flag or soldiers. One commenter felt that saying Colin Kaepernick was being disrespectful to the flag or soldiers was racially motivated (to try and silence Kapernick) and it was like saying Rosa Parks was being disrespectful to the transportation system (rather than racism) or that Gandhi’s hunger strike was protesting food (rather than British rule).
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