The four-letter name of a brand has been tossed around just as much as a bucket of baseballs gets thrown during a major-league season.
Good, bad or indifferent, everyone’s talking about it.
I do think that many people were quick to react to seeing Colin Kaepernick’s face behind the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means risking everything.”
They lit fires and pranced around emphasizing their desire to not stand for a brand that stands for someone who doesn’t stand for the National Anthem.
First, there wasn’t a homeless shelter or somewhere you could have donated your shoes or clothes to someone who actually needed them?
And you know his protest wasn’t actually aimed at the anthem, right?
Just making sure we got those things clear before I asked what principle freedom we as Americans hold higher than any other.
The right to free speech.
The right to peacefully assemble.
He was simply exercising the same right as you are by burning that pair of sneakers on your lawn.
Yet he’s the scumbag that everyone should hate?
Now let’s get into the rest of the advertising campaign that contains plenty of other notable athletes outside of just Kaepernick.
Nike’s slogan has always been about just doing it and now they’ve taken that to the next level and talked about how if people are calling your dreams crazy, then that’s simply a compliment.
Wrestlers with no legs, refugees turned national-team stars, one-handed football players and possibly two of the greatest athletes in their respective sports right now.
All of these people, who once just humans living in their parents’ house, turned to megastars because of their athletic ability.
They have all believed in doing something that is near impossible to achieve. Now that they’ve done that, they’re going even higher.
They’re excelling off their playing surfaces as well, including the narrator of the television spot, Mr. Kaepernick.
He is continuing to believe in changing the racial indifferences in this country and he took one of the most respectful approaches to bring light upon it by kneeling the same way people do to pray, honor an injury in the middle of a game, and to show respect for something in general.
I’ll say this, I have always been a fan of Nike’s equipment and preferred them over Under Armour and Adidas for a long time because neither one of the other companies did much to keep up in my mind. My thoughts have changed since those younger years but I still enjoy Nike products.
But despite those feelings, watching that video of all those athletes overcoming everything gave me chills.
Regardless of the product that was actually doing the advertising, the stories Kaepernick were rattling off were very inspiring and I was honestly getting excited as each new athlete came up.
It wasn’t anything about politics or the song or anything like that. It was simply about setting your goals high, laughing at those laughing at you, and continuing to excel even after reaching your bar.
No underlying messages or shots at anyone else. Just going out and achieving your goals.
If that doesn’t get you excited, then you may want to check your pulse.
I’ll end with this thought; when Nike rolls out a new advertising campaign to make even more money because that’s what companies do, what’s going to happen when your favorite athlete is on all the billboards everywhere?
“Hey that’s my guy!”
“Oh, did you buy his shoes?”
“Nah I burned those.”
Cole McNanna is the sports and education editor of The Sealy News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.