Nike Just Did It: An Open Letter to the Unconvinced

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are of those of the author

Dear Unconvinced,

It seems the new Nike campaign has caused you some discomfort and even anger. It seems as if overnight, there was a shift from loving the company to hating everything it stands for. Some people may look at you and wonder why the swoosh logo you so nonchalantly wore last week is now engulfed in flames, in your trash, or no longer in your closet. Surely this company must’ve done something unspeakable for you to cut ties, burn shoes, and make a statement. Surely they wronged you in a way that was unforgivable. What could Nike possibly have done to cause this uproar? They made Colin Kaepernick the face of a new ad campaign.

There’s been a lot of misconceptions regarding not only why Colin Kaepernick kneeled in the first place but about his character. It seems like the narrative has been flipped completely to discredit a man whose sole purpose was to enact conversation, to someone who was deemed as “disrespecting the flag.” The ones who claim disrespect are the same people who are negating the real reason behind the kneeling and overall protest itself. By changing the reason he kneeled to hating the military, you’re not only staying silent regarding the injustices in which Kaepernick is kneeling for, but you’re turning a blind eye. It's upsetting to see that people still don't understand why there's such an uproar of frustration regarding these injustices. Although he's no longer on an NFL team, he's joined the best team– the people. He sparked up conversations that some people were too afraid to begin. He’s not just kneeling.

He's donated $1 million dollars of his salary to community organizations. What he’s done is spark up a conversation and activism across the world. Not only are people more aware of the injustices that the black community face, but they’re not being silent about it either. Colin has inspired other athletes to make a difference and take a stand as well. Many of them rallied behind him when he first started kneeling, as recommended by Veteran Nate Boyer, who felt that kneeling was better than sitting out during the anthem because soldiers kneel in respect to their fallen brothers and sisters. The people are now aware and can do better in terms of educating themselves on the issue and working together to speak on the justice system, the criminalization, and everything else that comes with it. Black on black crime is a thing, I am well aware of that, but that shouldn't overshadow what’s going on.

We can't tackle everything at once, but we can start with a cause and work our way through. We can't forget that we didn't just earn our freedoms, someone before us fought for them, protested for them, marched for them, and died for them. If every person in history was told "do it yourself," we wouldn't be where we are today due to the fact that it takes a village. Colin is a prime example of someone peacefully drawing attention to an issue that makes some people uncomfortable. People felt the time and place for Kaepernick’s protest was distasteful. You have every right to feel that way, but when were protests made to make you feel comfortable? Kaepernick's time and place shouldn't be what's convenient and comfortable for you. Protests and rallies aren't about what's convenient and the perfect time and place, they're about trying to make a change. He choose to protest somewhere he knew millions of eyes would be watching. 

You have the right to be angry, to express that anger in the way you seem fit. You have the right to disagree, not support, and let your voice be heard. With that said, Colin Kaepernick, as well as those who support him, have those rights as well. Don’t just listen to what the media or your family members on Facebook are telling you, but rather look into the man that didn't back down even in the face of ridicule and adversity. Nike didn't just make the right move, they just...did it.


The Convinced 


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