Colin Kaepernick: Nike Ad Controversy


Kaylin Coffman, Assistant Editor

Today American football is one of the nation’s most watched sports. Football is a sport where all types of people from different states come together to support their team and show their support through social media and their actions. “Die hard” fans of football teams praise the star player of their favorite team and imitate their actions. However, sometimes the star player shows poor actions that people of the U.S should not copy.

On Wednesday September 6th the now famous Nike Ad dropped. The ad features Colin Kaepernick as the narrator, and features him as one of the faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. I find this absolutely perplexing. Nike is a world famous company and so many people around the world support them. Nike has taken the face of unpatriotic actions and put it as the face of their 28 billion dollar company. The definition of patriotism is, the vigorous support for one’s country. Kaepernick has done the complete opposite. Growing up I have learned to have pride for the country in which I am very honored to live. Why would Nike want the athlete, who is totally against the patriotism of America, to be the face of their campaign? Nike has been in contract with Kaepernick since 2011. “The risk of a negative response was undoubtedly assessed before making the deal, which makes clear that Nike believes the rewards of sponsoring Kaepernick outweigh the cost.” ( In the advertisement, Kaepernick says, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrifice everything.” The overall reaction of this from people all over America was complete shock. “Sacrificing what exactly? A career?” said Taya Kyle, a widow of and American Sniper. ( True sacrifice is dying for the freedom of your country, not sacrificing your football career.

A few years before the this Nike controversy happened, on August 26, 2016 Colin Kaepernick, player of the San Francisco 49ers, showed his feelings by sitting during the National Anthem at a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. This event is what really amazed people as to why Nike would use Kaepernick. After this event occurred, everyone in the U.S. was talking about it. Upon seeing this event , the fans of NFL football were taken aback. Kaepernick said, “It is to protest the injustices that are happening in America, the oppression that is happening in America.” I believe that whether he was sitting or kneeling, both ways are extremely disrespectful.

Some might argue that using Colin Kaepernick as the face of the campaign is smart. Many of Nike’s buyers are young people who get influenced easily. However, I believe that in America we should be full of love and passion for our country, and at this point, it seems that this is no longer being shown.