How Colin Kapernick's Nike Campaign Sparked an Important Conversation on Politics & Fashion

Colin Kaepernick, a name that made his mark in not only American football history, but in the fabric of social awareness in America. Since taking a knee during the National Anthem at a game in 2016, Kaepernick has ignited conversations about Black oppression in America. As such a controversial a figure, the NFL banned Kaepernick, severing his ties with sports world in more ways than one. But now Kaepernick is making his way back into the sports spotlight as he has landed a spot as the face of Nike's 30th Anniversary campaign, and it appears that something as simple as shoe branding choice can make huge waves in our social narrative.

The news broke last Monday when Kaepernick tweeted a Nike promotional photo, a black and white photograph with the caption, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything" and the hashtag, #JustDoIt. Kaepernick will not just model original Nike merchandise for the 30th Anniversary "Just Do It" campaign, but he will also have his own Nike merchandise branded with his name, including a pair of Nike sneakers and a specially designed T-shirt. Nike aims to up the social significance of their brand, looking for representatives and initiatives to contribute to minority issues like the ones Kaepernick is fighting for. The campaign will donate a portion of proceeds to the Know Your Rights camp, an organization started by Kaepernick himself in 2017. The Know Your Rights camp targets issues of lack of proper education, biased and harmful situations Black people get into with law enforcement and other areas of concern for Black youth.