The Guilfordian

Filed under Opinion, Web Exclusive

Fashion Column

Last month, Nike surprised us all by featuring Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary campaign. Kaepernick sparked national debate in 2016 when he took a stand against oppression by kneeling during the national anthem before a NFL game. He was calling attention to racial injustice and social inequality and as a result, Kaepernick has been blacklisted from the NFL for his beliefs.

On Sept. 3, 2018, Kaepernick tweeted a black and white photo of him with the caption, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.” It is reported that Nike will create a line affiliated with Kaepernick, featuring t-shirts and a pair of sneakers. The campaign will also be donating to the “Know Your Rights” camp that Kaepernick started in 2017.

Since this campaign was released, there has been split emotions on seeing Kaepernick represent the brand. Some are happy that his efforts are being praised while the other side is angry with the decision. It has led some people to burn their Nike sneakers in protest. After the campaign launched, some expected their sales to drop, but ultimately, they jumped up by 31 percent. President Donald Trump’s outrageous anger regarding the campaign could have drawn more attention toward Nike. When companies partner with controversial people, often it makes a big impact on their sales. In this case, Nike profited greatly due to Kaepernick being the new face.

While fashion and politics may not seem to go hand-in-hand, anything can influence what people wear and the brands they purchase. By people burning their Nikes it increased sales but also sent a nationwide message that is OK to take a stand for what you believe in, even if you lose it all. Opinions still may be 50/50 regarding the campaign, but you can’t please everyone. Nike took a risk by choosing Kaepernick to be the brand’s face, but if they didn’t take that chance it would have never sparked attention to issues we need to address. Kaepernick has presented himself with the utmost class and continues to fight for his beliefs. To me that says a lot and he deserves to represent Nike

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