NFL / kneeling
Kaepernick, New Face of Nike
Source: Fox News In a bold move defying the norm, Nike has announced that Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary ad campaign. This is a big move for one of the world's largest sports companies, going against the NFL and taking a stand against the message they have been sending. It is refreshing to see a major company be willing to take the side of Kaepernick on a very polarizing issue. A few days ago I wrote an article on kneeling in the NFL and the reaction was quite mixed. Most people have strong opinions on the matter and it seems like their is very little middle ground between opposing view points. Normally a company like Nike would steer clear of diving into the issue and I was elated when I saw that they had decided to back Kaepernick and his message. Kaepernick has been outcast from the NFL for instigating the anthem protest across sports. The NFL has tried to bully the players out of expressing their freedom of speech and now the players have a strong ally in Nike. I'm interested to see how Nike and Kaepernick use this platform they've created. Already a hot topic and now being given more fuel to make sure the conversation doesn't go away. On the back of this announcement we've already seen both the NFL and Donald Trump have already made very toned down statements on Nike's announcement and both entities seem to have regress from their harsh stances. Source: IRNA Trump said "As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, ... it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do" a statement far removed from his previous suggests on what the league, owners and commissioner should be doing with player who join in the protest. Trump has gone from the extreme to suddenly acknowledging and accepting Kaepernick and the anthem protest. The NFL released a very interesting statement as well: "The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities". The statement almost makes it seem like they and actually in support of the anthem protest. A strong shift from trying to strong arm players out of protesting. I'm very interested to see what happens week 1 of the NFL season. Will player remain in the locker room during the anthem like the NFL has asked? Will players continue to kneel? Has the Kaepernick endorsement emboldened the cause? I for one will be tuning into the NFL over the coming week to see what happens.