The Hawkeye

Kaeptin’ America

Siddharth GAULEE

Siddharth GAULEE

Kris Albert, [email protected]

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“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike and Colin Kaepernick live this statement as we speak. The brand and the ex-NFL quarterback have risked it all in order to provide a serious message. Helping their new campaign ring true to the ears of many.

In order to truly grasp the weight of this campaign, one has to know the vast history behind the message. Colin Kaepernick sat for the National Anthem in August back in 2016. After a lengthy conversation with former NFL player and green beret Nate Boyer, Kaep began to kneel instead of sit “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect.” In my opinion, this gets lost in translation far to often. Kaepernick not only was willing to have a conversation but he was described as “very receptive” by Boyer.

Kaepernick became a free agent shortly after as the controversy mounted. Many veterans came to Colin’s defense, saying they fought for his right to peacefully protest. Meanwhile Nike boasts some of the most socially important athletes in America. LeBron James is the most socially active athlete in America. I mean the man just opened a public school. A school.

Serena Williams is also a major activist. Williams does the impossible, winning titles shortly after pregnancy and facing discrimination in a sport she dominates. She is one of the strongest athletes in the world.

Nike and Kaep are made for each other. A brand that supports its athletes through anything (ex: Kobe Bryant scandal, Tiger Woods scandal, LeBron and President Trump), and an athlete that put his playing days on the line in order to facilitate change. Let me also say that Nike is not stupid and Colin Kaeprnick is not stupid. This was a methodical plan executed by the pair.

Kaep’s deal with Nike will pay him as a “star NFL player”, meaning an unknown amount of millions per year plus royalties. The deal will also include a line of apparel and a donation to “Know Your Rights” , the former quarterback.

The charity is entirely funded by the Colin Kaepernick Foundation, which aims to end oppression of all kinds.

One more thing, burning and cutting your Nike clothes won’t do anything substantial. Nike planned for that, they knew what they were getting themselves into. It is reported Kapernick’s deal is already earning towards 100 million for the company. This didn’t happen by accident; it is a methodical plan that is playing out in the eyes of America. Let’s watch.

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Kaeptin’ America