Nike Ad Gives “Crazy” a Positive Connotation

Nike is known to spark dialogue through their ads. Their last campaign focused on Colin Kaepernick, which caused controversy and some much-needed conversations. Now, Nike hits back again with a new campaign. Serena Williams serves as the narrator to discuss the underlying sexism that is rooted within the sports industry. Here are some lines from the ad.

Related: Colin Kaepernick Is the Face of Nike's 'Just Do It' 30th Anniversary Campaign

"If we show emotion we're called dramatic. If we want to play against men, we're nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, delusional. When we stand for something, we're unhinged. When we're too good, there's something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we're hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy."

We are in an amazing space in society where, slowly but surely, gender equality is becoming the forefront of every conversation. Whether it be #MeToo, the gender pay gap or unequal opportunities in the workforce, women have been speaking out against gender discrimination in all walks of life. Serena Williams highlights on the stigma that a woman who stands up for herself in a situation of discrimination is automatically seen as “crazy”. The preconceived notion that women should be coy and obedient is extremely regressive and, unfortunately, still prevalent in society today. When a woman enters a male-dominated industry and does things the way men do, it seems “crazy” because they are breaking out of their stereotypes. This systematic hypocrisy has been ingrained in society for far too long. Luckily, William and Nike come together to debunk the notion that crazy has a negative connotation.

Related: Serena Williams: A Power Play

Image result for nike ad serena williamsVia CBC

"But, a woman running a marathon was crazy. A woman boxing was crazy. A woman dunking? Crazy. Coaching an NBA team? Crazy. A woman competing in a hijab, changing her sport, landing a double-cork 1080 or winning 23 grand slams, having a baby and then coming back for more? Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy and crazy.”

The video shows clips of female athletes such as Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles, Olympic snowboard star Chloe Kim, Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, former WNBA superstar Lisa Leslie, San Antonio NBA assistant coach Becky Hammon and more. These women have pushed the boundaries for women in sport in so many aspects. They entered a “man’s world” and proceeded to give them a run for their money. The ad initiated conversations around the globe about the gender bias that occurs in sport. The ad has lead to multiple articles, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. about the clear double standards. No one questions a man when he gets angry at a referee or shows emotion during a game. They are called “ passionate” or “invested." The minute a woman does it, she’s “crazy." The 90-second ad was inspiring and motivational and I thank Nike and Williams for creating such an impactful and moving campaign.

Watching the video made me incredibly emotional. Female athletes deserve to be celebrated and seeing this ad made me respect them even more than before. Not only was the video effective in calling out the hypocrisy, it was empowering as hell. It made me, and many people I know, want to go back to dreams we had let go off because others had called it “too crazy”.

Keep on dreaming crazily, collegiettes!