Scraps of Nike symbols lay in the trash and Nike shoes lay burnt on American lawns as a result of Nike’s latest “Just do it” commercial featuring NFL star and racial activist, Colin Kaepernick.
Christian colleges across the nation have broken ties with Nike including the most recent, Truett McConnell University. Truett’s president, Dr. Emir Caner gave an explanation for the split, “For Nike to then hire Colin Kaepernick, a person known for wearing pigs on his socks, mocking law enforcement, kneeling against our flag, and mocking our troops, is reprehensible to my family and to the Truett McConnell family.”
The school will sell the rest of their Nike apparel from the campus store and donate all of the funds to veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Fraternal Order of Police. Regardless of the controversy and loss of business relationships, Nike has seen a 31% increase in sales since the commercial was aired.
One political reporter for The Washington Post, Eugene Scott explained that Nike certainly had a deliberate business strategy in mind to attract a certain audience in today’s political climate. More and more people are becoming aware of police brutality in the United States and social activism is at our fingertips. Scott reported that Nike had to be aware that only 27% of the voting population is republican, so most American consumers—people of color, millennials, left-leaning Americans—might disagree with President Trump’s views on Kaepernick.
It is no secret that President Trump believed Kaepernick’s racial activism was a disgrace to America and an insult to veterans and the active military. In response to Nike’s campaign, President Trump tweeted,
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
As Christian colleges follow the lead of their conservative president, perhaps other large sports companies will follow Nike’s lead for profit and respectability. It appears that sides are forming and Nike was the swoosh to wake up the tides.
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