Friars’ Views on Nike and Kaepernick


Colin Hueston

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On Wednesday September 5, 2018, Nike released an ad campaign featuring controversial figure Colin Kaepernick in a commercial with the slogan “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Before anything involving Nike ad campaign began, Kaepernick had been in the national spotlight after kneeling during the National Anthem before several of his games with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL.


From the youngest to the oldest, throughout all social media platforms, and all sides of the political spectrum, many people have taken their own stance on the topic. With all this variation of opinion, we decided to look at this issue from the perspective of different Malvern students.


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“Colin Kaepernick, to be completely honest, didn’t sacrifice everything… I think for Nike it was a fantastic move, and here’s why: if you look at the history of a lot of things that are very popular in today’s culture, a lot of them have stemmed from African-Americans. For instance, if you look at rap music right now, it is topping the charts… but ten years ago there was no rap in the top 10 on iTunes. I think it was a great move for Nike. Even though the commercial was a cool commercial, it didn’t really symbolize what Colin Kaepernick did and his movement. I think it was a very good business decision for Nike, and I’m not going to stop buying Nike. I’m not really a Colin Kaepernick fan. I think what he’s doing is really cool and interesting, as it’s put a lot of light on the Black Lives Matter issue and police brutality in America. With that being said, it has been extremely controversial, and kneeling for the flag has offended and disrespected a lot if people. With Nike’s target consumer, I think it was a great move for Nike to do that.”

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“There’s nothing wrong with anthem protests. There’s nothing wrong with using your platform to stand up for social justice issues that happen in a community.”

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“I think it was a bold choice on [Nike’s] part to pick him as their spokesperson, especially with the controversy regarding his protests.”

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“I don’t necessarily agree with [Nike’s decision to use Colin Kaepernick in ad campaign], but it’s for marketing purposes, so I guess it’s smart on their part. But, I’m not a huge fan of it.”

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“I’m pretty sure their sales went up, so the marketing thing worked. If it’s for making more money, you might as well.”

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“I think that Nike can do whatever they want, as they are obviously a free enterprise business. However, I think that in terms of their partnership with the NFL, that could affect it. Also, in terms of [Nike] making long term money I don’t think that it was necessarily a smart move because if they were to lose that NFL sponsorship, the Kaepernick money will not make up for that.”