Keep your politics away from the anthem, and out of Nike

Jobless millionaire, former NFL quarterback, and unprofessional protester Colin Kaepernick, recently appeared as the face of Nike in their commercial for the 30 year anniversary of the, “Just do it” campaign.

In the commercial, Kaepernick spoke one inspirational quote after another, ending with “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they are crazy enough.”

Powerful isn’t it? I was moved, but at the same time I thought to myself, “What did he give up that makes him such an expert on sacrifice?”

Nike’s involvement with Kaepernick is complicated. There is something ironic about Nike supporting his stance on racial injustices.

According to activist Jeff Ballinger’s 1992 report, Nike has been found to have sweatshops overseas in countries such as Indonesia and China. In both countries, workers wages are extremely low.

Also ironic, according to Nihal Krishan’s Sept. 12 article for, Nike has donated more money to Republican campaigns in the last 10 years than to Democratic campaigns. Yet here they are, “supporting” leftist Colin Kaepernick. What side is Nike really on?

I would say their own. They are in it for the money. They used a popular face to bring in the big bucks, and it worked. Although they lost a lot of money immediately following the ad, they have gained more than $6 million since.

The topic of the protests is another thing that does not sit well with me.

He told NFL Media, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

What he said is true. There are bodies lying in the street. Look at Chicago. The Chicago Tribune reported that as of Sept. 30, 409 people have been victims of homicide in Chicago alone. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that there were 17,284 murders and non-negligent manslaughter cases in 2017. So yes, there are bodies in the street. Kaepernick’s reference to people getting paid leave is true.

Did the officers actually get away with murder? The Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that the officer who killed Walter Scott in North Carolina was jailed for 20 years. But the odds of an officer pulling the trigger during their career are slim.

Heather MacDonald, of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research found, based on DOJ stats, that while their gun will be drawn often, it will very rarely be shot. Not only that, but the number of white people killed by police in 2017 and 2018, as of June, is just over double the number of black people killed by police.

In 2017, 457 white people were killed by police, compared to 223 black people. As of June 20, 109 more white people have been killed by police than black people killed by police.

Based on her research, MacDonald found that black people are 24 percent less likely to be killed by a police officer than whites or Hispanics, even if the black person was armed or violent.

Black people account for 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders, and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 largest counties in the country where they are only 13 percent of the population. The study also used New York City as an example.

Black people commit 75 percent of shootings, yet they only make up 23 percent of the population in NYC. Also in New York City, whites make up 34 percent of the population, but are responsible for only two percent of the shootings.

The issue lies at the crime holders. The issue does not fall into the laps of the police. A police officer is actually 18.5 times more likely to be killed by an armed black man than an unarmed black man is to be killed by a police officer.

So why protest on the football field? If it is bigger than football, why did he use the football field as his stage? Why protest during the national anthem? The anthem is one of the things that unify all people. It was the wrong tool if he was trying to unify.

He was an NFL quarterback at the time. He was already a known figure. He had millions of Twitter and Instagram followers. He could have started a protest outside of football, and outside of using the national anthem.

Martin Luther King Jr. lived in a time where there was no social media. Look at what he did. He was the face of the Civil Rights Movement. If Kaepernick really wants to do something, do what MLK did.

Get the people together. March peacefully. Don’t take away from a pastime. Don’t take away from the national anthem. Most of all, don’t insult the symbol that is known around the world, the American flag.

Teams had even gone to the extent of staying in the locker rooms for the anthem.

One particular player was the only one on his team to go out and stand for the anthem.

On Sept. 18, 2016, army veteran and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman, Alejandro Villanueva, quietly gave his opinion on the protests.  

Villanueva also gave it to ESPN in an interview where he said, “I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that’s providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year … when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year. It’s his decision. Obviously he has brought up the issue in a great way. But I think if he encourages other players or other people in the stands to sit down, it’s going to send the wrong message.”

Villanueva is one of those that truly know what sacrifice is. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service records show that the entry salary for enlisted soldiers is $1,638.30 a month. That totals to just under $20,000 a year.

That ridiculously small salary goes to men and women of all different nationalities who have signed a contract to fight for our country so that we the people can have our Constitutional freedoms.

By signing that dotted line, they are signing their life away for a measly $20,000 a year. So why did Nike use Kaepernick instead of a veteran, firefighter, or police officer? They are the real heroes.

I don’t like Colin Kaepernick’s ethics. Police brutality is a thing, but it isn’t what it has been portrayed to be in recent years.

Nike talked out of both sides of their mouth. The American flag is not something to disrespect, and neither is the national anthem.

Nike, don’t use someone that has nothing to speak of when it comes to sacrificial topics. Instead, be like Under Armour. Get involved with helping our troops, not disrespectful guys like Kaepernick.

Better yet, do something that hasn’t been seen yet, support Fire and EMS. Both need to do something in support of those that truly sacrifice for the better of our country.

Both need to make a STAND to make our country better. And most of all, we the people must come together to make this country great again.

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