Burning your Nikes isn’t the answer

Student establishes idea of meaning behind bitter Nike controversy

Written By Hannah Walden, Co-Copy Desk Chief

At the beginning of this month, Nike launched its 30th anniversary campaign, starring the controversial former NFL quarterback and modern civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick. We’ve all seen the memes based on his “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” ad.  

Supporters of the new campaign shared it far and wide. Some even bought Nike apparel, boosting the company’s overall stock. Meanwhile, protesters tore the Nike logo off their clothes and burned their shoes, thus proving they completely missed the point.

Burning or destroying something you bought and own, just because the company behind the product stands for something you don’t agree with, is ridiculous. It doesn’t help your cause. They already have your money, and they aren’t going to change their minds because of your actions. 

If anything, I think protesters should donate their Nike apparel if they don’t want it anymore. They would look much more mature while doing that, instead of burning t-shirts and shoes out of anger – in spite of Kaepernick. 

However, the mindset of some of these protesters is what really upsets me, as they are part of groups like #AllLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter – groups that I cannot stand behind. 

Everyone’s life matters, no matter your race, gender,
sexuality, sexual preference or career choice. The two groups listed above cast hate and disdain towards #BlackLivesMatter and divert from the group’s message, which is a reminder to people that their lives matter and that they will not sit idly by as injustice

“Why do Black Lives Matter need to remind people that their lives matter?” Because there are too many young, unarmed and innocent black lives being taken at the hands of the police. 

This issue especially hits close to home when talking about Antwon Rose Jr. and his death. While there are more elements to this story, in the end Rose didn’t deserve death, his parents didn’t deserve to bury their young son and his community didn’t deserve to be shook with his death at the hands of police. 

More recently, the death of Botham Shem Jean, a Dallas man relaxing in his apartment after work, who was killed when an off-duty police officer entered his home, mistaking it as hers and thinking he was an intruder. 

These two examples alone are why the Black Lives Matter movement started,  and why Kaepernick started kneeling and why we
should too. 

Kaepernick simply used his platform to raise awareness and to support Black Lives Matter by kneeling during the national anthem. Previously, he sat out for a few games and after speaking to veterans, he started to kneel to show that he still supported the military. 

The facts seem pretty clear, but there are still people burning Nike shoes and hating on Kaepernick like there is no tomorrow, instead of working together to build a community we can all live in.

The point is that there is a problem with policing in America and something has to change. The number of unjust police killings should be the biggest red flag that our officers need more training and more resources.

This is the point of the Black Lives Matter movement and Kaepernick’s participation in the movement. If the NFL doesn’t want to or won’t be a part of that message, then I’m proud that Nike is.