Nike and the Kaepernick controversy

The start of the NFL season began with the crowd cheering and the national anthem blaring on the speakers. This tradition of playing the national anthem has been the talk of the offseason as Nike and Colin Kaepernick partnered up to release a controversial commercial depicting the struggle of being a poor, black athlete trying to make it. The simple act of Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem last year has cost him his career in the NFL, and his reputation has been blemished.


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This all began during the 2018 season when Kaepernick knelt for the first time and led the entire movement of teams kneeling during the national anthem. This led to Kaepernick being released at the end of last season and people  believing that the NFL owners are all conspiring against Kaepernick. Sophomore Pablo Agustin had the following to say on the matter: “I think that it isn’t fair because no one can stop you from believing in what you want to believe in.” Agustin believes that the reason that Kaepernick does not have a contract is not because of a lack of talent but rather economic issues. “In my opinion the only reason why they’d probably want Kaepernick out is for economic purposes, which seems to overshadow the true meaning of the game.”

Nike partnered with Kaepernick during the offseason in order to drop a commercial called “Dream Crazy.” This commercial and partnership was met with controversy as some believed that the commercial was offensive to all the soldiers who had given up their lives to serve the country, yet others believed that the commercial was a great thing as it encompasses Black Lives Matter and police brutality issues. Senior Alexis Carlos said, “I personally think it’s pretty cool of Nike to partner up with him on something like that because it shows how they support a greater cause rather than just being a money-hungry company.” Carlos believes that what Nike and Kaepernick are doing is a good thing as it is exposing real problems that people go through on a daily basis. As for the boycott against Nike, Carlos said, “I honestly think that what they are doing is pretty dumb because at the end of the day people paid for their gear and they are just destroying it.”

Junior Alexis Carlos proudly showcasing his Nike sleeve.

This issue of kneeling during the national anthem made national headlines when President Trump released a set of tweets bashing Kaepernick for his decision to kneel. Once this season began and other players continued kneeling, President Trump again released another barrage of tweets this time directed at the NFL and Nike. When Mr. You was asked if he believes if President Trump should be so vocal about the topic he said the following, “No, Trump should be more worried about more important things; as President he should respect the First Amendment.” Mr. You believes that the reason President Trump is vocal about the topic is because he wants to distract people from other issues in his administration, “He is using the Kaepernick thing as a way to rile up his supporters and distract them from the other stuff going on within his administration.” Mr. You also believes that Kaepernick is doing the right thing as he is portraying the correct message, “I think that the  Colin Kaepernick’s lesson is super powerful because it shows the youth the consequences that come with standing up for what you believe in.”