If there ever was a questionable act, it’s difficult to top this one. Nike is using a controversial former NFL player to advertise its products.
Nike is using activist former NFL player Colin Kaepernick in its advertising. Kaepernick is the football father of protests about racial injustice. The protests against this country’s alleged racial injustice were started by Kaepernick who kneeled during the playing of the national anthem in 2016. Others followed his lead although most of the NFL players honor this country by standing during the national anthem.
Some of the teams tried to come up with a policy to accommodate the protesting players, such as having them leave the field during the national anthem. That policy didn’t play well with the protesting players or the fans.
The protest by the players irritated and upset many NFL fans. Kaepernick was dropped by his team and no other team has come forward to hire him. It must be mentioned that his performance on the field had waned.
Kaepernick is suing the NFL, alleging there is a conspiracy by the league’s teams to blackball him and keep him on the unemployment rolls — never mind that his on-field performance had become subpar.
Since news of Nike’s advertising campaign became known, there has been a boycott of Nike products by some fans. There was some support for Nike expressed also.
Even President Donald Trump was critical of Kaepernick and other protesting players for their disrespect for this country.
ike is one of the NFL’s biggest partners with a reported billion dollar deal that was extended this past spring. Nike is playing down the impact by Kaepernick’s involvement in the ad campaign, and said it also is using other athletes in its ads. Kaepernick was involved with Nike ads before his protests began.
Polls show that younger NFL fans aren’t as upset with Nike and Kaepernick as are older football fans.
Attendance is down somewhat for NFL games. Television viewers of NFL games are fewer and the league is concerned about losing some of the TV money. Various reasons are given for the decline in interest in NFL games. Is it too many games — overexposure? Is it the fear of injuries to players and an unwillingness to support a violent sport? Is it because of protests by well-paid players who aren’t loyal to a country that has made their wealth possible?
It probably is a combination of all of the above!
We don’t approve of Kaepernick’s lack of respect to this country. Yes, there has been racial injustice, which is wrong. But there also has been much progress in the racial issue. That’s seldom mentioned.
Nike by using Kaepernick in its advertising adds to racial unrest and it’s hurting pro football, which needs a positive push rather than another punch in the face.