Nike + Kaepernick: a Great Match

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. — Kenneth T. Burks

My dad used to say that to my brother and me time and time again (sometimes followed by, “be a trendsetter, not a trend follower”). Even if people do not agree with a cause, they will eventually respect the leader of such if it benefits the greater good.

Jack Johnson. Rosa Parks. Bayard Rustin. Rev. James Reeb. Muhammad Ali. James Chaney. Andrew Goodman. Michael Schwerner. Malcom X. And of course, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

People tend to forget how loathed those Civil Rights heroes were. Hell the two preachers on this list were killed. Only now they are revered because those activists were proven over time to be on the right side of history.

Nike, led by founder extraordinaire Phil Knight, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” slogan by making former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick the face of the celebration. As a “footnote”, Nike also honored athletes such as Serena Williams, Odel Beckham, Jr., Shaquem Griffin, Lacey Baker and LeBron James.

For Nike to take such a HUGE stance in supporting Kaepernick, it required a lot of courage. Even though getting behind someone who brings awareness to inequality to marginalized groups in this great country of ours should NOT be risky, I applaud Nike for wanting to be on the right side of history.

By the way, Nike is no stranger to a risk like this. In the mid-80s it took a chance on a budding black star during a time when it was risky to use a black athlete as a face of a major product.

That athlete’s name was Michael Jordan.

And for those who say “why not use JJ Watt?” One, he’s under contract with Reebok (do people STILL buy Reebok?). Two, Reebok is owned by adidas, who by the way (along with Under Armour) was interested in acquiring the services of Kaepernick when his original Nike contract was set to expire.

So basically, if you decide to make the switch to Reebok, adidas and Under Armour, you’re STILL SUPPORTING Kaepernick.

So here’s what I think y’all MAGA dudes and dudettes (and other non supporters) should do: get on board with the equality train and support this brother who took a stand and lost his NFL career in the process.

Or better yet, instead of burning Nike merchandise that you paid a pretty penny for, donate it to homeless veterans. After all, it’s all about the troops, right?

Props to Nike for doing the right thing and stand with equality. Equality (and love) would be a HUGE step in making America great again…

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