Last week we heard that Nike Inc. had selected NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as one of the main faces for its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The deal is rumoured to be a huge figure but the terms were not disclosed. Kaepernick first signed with Nike in 2011.
Some have welcomed the Kaepernick/Nike deal, whilst the anti-Kaepernick coalition condemned Nike for this “unpatriotic” deal. We now learn that Nike has supported Kap during his current unfair “ban” from the NFL which started in early 2017.
Media narrative is a strange thing sometimes. The liberal media and supporters are all over Kaepernick and praising him over his social activism. He has received multiple awards and plaudits for his activism. Today the left deem Kap a hero.
But the said liberal media/political establishment quietly blocked out coverage of when Kaepernick first started kneeling at the start of NFL games during the final months of the Obama administration. During that period Kap’s stance was deemed a side issue for the media as he had in one statement pissed off both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters in the run up to the 2016 US Presidential elections.
“I mean, you have Hillary who’s called black teens or black kids super predators. You have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. I mean, we have a presidential candidate [Hillary Clinton] who’s deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me, because if that was any other person, you’d be in prison.” – Kaepernick, 2016
I have long admired Kap for his activism. I do not agree with all his statements but that’s besides the point. He stood up when many others in loftier positions – especially those lazy politicians – have stayed silent for too long on blacks and the unfairness of the criminal justice systems.
I am disappointed that Kap has been black balled by all the NFL team owners for his activism. It is a shame that the players did not even threaten to down tools for one week in solidarity for Kap.
However, last season the kneeling during the playing of the US national anthem was over played by the NFL players. Yes, protest occasionally but not before every match. They are pissing off those fans who view NFL matches as their weekly escapism from the realities of life for 3 hours.
The constant kneeling by players diluted any impact to their protests and what the players were actually standing up for. The kneeling/sitting down during the playing of national anthem became the story not the issues they were protesting about. Any effective protest has to have an element of surprise just as Kap did back in August 2016.
Kaepernick has not done himself much favour since first taking the knee with fellow San Francisco 49ers team-mates such as Eli Harold and Eric Reid. Sadly Reid too is now out of a NFL job. Harold has recently moved to play for the Detroit Lions.
In 2017, Kaepernick should really have done more one-on-one interviews with the media to get his concerns across more effectively. At least Eric Reid appeared on The View.
Kaepernick , Reid and Harold have always said their protest is not about the flag or US Armed Forces. But their enemies deliberately ignore this reasoning and are quick to condemn these players at unpatriotic Americans.
So the current outrage this week is mainly because Kaepernick is getting money and the anti-Kap brigade are just on envy street. As they must have hoped for Kap to suffer and fall on hard times following his ban from the NFL.
I am glad Kap is getting this money and we know from his previous voluntary work that he will put some towards noble and worthy causes. Kaepernick could use his positive standing to discuss his concerns with those men and women in power on Capitol Hill and indeed the White House.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has come out in support of Kaepernick. But why has the CBC not held extended discussions with Kaepernick?
One of Kaepernick’s biggest concerns was with how the US criminal justice systems deals with black people. Especially the levels of police brutality.
Yet there has been White House discussions in 2018 about prison reform under the leadership of Democratic strategist Van Jones and Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Given his own work with former prisoners this forum should have included Kaepernick.
Since 2012 Nike is said to have paid over $1bn to be the official uniform provider for the NFL. This deal was recently extended to 2028. So NFL and Kaepernick are Niked together.
- Why did Nike not publicly commend Kaepernick during his initial protest and subsequent ostracizing from the NFL?
- Did Nike quietly prevent Kaepernick’s initial stance to protect their own image? We know how sponsors can get nervy about any political controversy attached to their brand.
- As a major sponsor of the NFL, why did Nike not flex its financial muscle to “discourage” the NFL from virtually banning Kaepernick?
- Should the public have a right to know how much Kap will be earning from this new Nike deal? Yes.
Kap’s new Nike deal is not based on any recent performance on the field and all to do with his activism. Then it is only fair -and out of his own goodwill – that Kaepernick should share headline details of the contract with the public.