Nike, with it’s choice of advertising campaigns and sponsorships, will be remembered for being on the bright side of history. Although production and manufacturing have always been an opportunity for the company to do more, Nike has remained an advocate & inspiration for generations of athletes and our culture. Their latest ad campaign, “Dream Crazy,” aired during the 2018 NFL Thursday night season opening game, and already has millions of views online. It is timely as the NFL and Colin Kaepernick are currently in a dispute for “collusion and damages” by NFL teams for not signing him as retaliation for his peaceful demonstration.
Kaepernick started taking a knee during the anthem in 2016 after being inspired by former Army Green Beret Nate Boyer, discussing ways to honor what the flag represents, while expressing dissatisfaction with the current state of our country.
Full statement when the protest originally began:
Reporter: So many people see the flag as a symbol of the military. How do you view it and what do you say to those people?
Kaepernick: I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they have fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right
By choosing Colin Kaepernick to be the face of their latest advertising campaign, Nike is making a bold statement that they support the athletes & our communities and not the institutions that suffer from systemic indifference towards social issues that they in fact are perpetuating.
Here’s what you need to know about the current Colin Kaepernick v. NFL situation:
- NFL Arbitrator Moves Colin Kaepernick’s ‘Collusion’ Grievance To Formal Hearing
- Colin Kaepernick’s allegation that the NFL colluded to deny him a contract as punishment for his lead role in player protests will get a formal hearing after an arbitrator denied the league’s request for a summary judgment.
- Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos
- In October of last year, Kaepernick, who is now 30, filed a grievance against the NFL charging that owners conspired to shut him out of the league in retaliation for the protests.
In a statement at the time, Geragos said, “Principled and peaceful protest … should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government.”
- The New York Times reported that the league “cannot appeal the arbitrator’s decision to move to a full hearing, but it can appeal a final ruling.”
- The Times says, “A hearing could begin by the end of the year, though the two sides could settle the case before then. Kaepernick is seeking damages equal to what he would have earned if he were still playing in the league.”
- Kaepernick — who led the 49ers to two NFC championship games and a Super Bowl — should have been a hot prospect as a free agent, bolstering the perception for some that he was being snubbed.
- Sports Illustrated writes, “[If] Burbank concludes that 14 or more teams engaged in collusion, the [NFL Players Association] could acquire the option of terminating the collective bargaining agreement.”
Here’s what you need to know about taking a knee in 2018:
- In a tweet, Kaepernick gave a shout-out to “my brothers,” Dolphins teammates Kenny Stills and Albert Watson, who were the only two players in the league to take a knee during the national anthem during Sunday’s early games.
“They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated… Love is at the root of our resistance.”
- Since opting out of his contract after that season, Kaepernick has been unable to land a contract on an NFL team and is suing the league for collusion.
- While Stills and Watson were kneeling during the anthem, teammate Robert Quinn raised his fist.
My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!
“Love is at the root of our resistance!”✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/2kSsX4s7EU
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 9, 2018
- Niners receiver Marquise Goodwin did the same at San Francisco’s game at Minnesota.
- Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr. of the Jaguars stayed in the locker room while the anthem was played.\
- Hours before Kaepernick’s tweet, President Donald Trump took to twitter to dig at the NFL, linking low ratings for Thursday night’s opener between Atlanta and Philadelphia (lowest for an opener since 2008) to players who refuse to stand for the anthem.
- Malcolm Jenkins, who raised his fist during the anthem last season, said he would like to move the focus away from the anthem.
“I think there’s a huge need for us to turn the attention to not only the issues, but what players are actually doing in their communities to promote change… We’re trying to move past the rhetoric of what’s right or what’s wrong in terms of the anthem, and really focus on the systematic issues that are plaguing our communities.”