Nation reacts to Nike’s ad campaign featuring Kaepernick


Gabby Nelson

During C lunch, Coppell High School students wear Nike merchandise in the cafeteria on Sep. 12. Students wear Nike merchandise including clothes, shoes, and lanyards. Photo by Gabby Nelson.

Neha Desaraju, Staff Writer

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited controversy when he knelt during the National Anthem before the San Francisco 49ers’ final 2016 preseason game in order to protest police brutality. Many of his teammates decided to do the same when they heard his story.


However, still some of America decided this act was a callous act of disrespect not only to the flag, but to the country’s values, and others were inspired to reach out to him on social media. His actions have also sparked a wave of debate both for and against this new form of protesting and controversy to what disrespect really means for America. In the months since, Kaepernick was released by the 49ers and is currently not on an NFL roster.


Kaepernick’s influence is still being observed when Nike released a new ad for its 50th anniversary of the iconic “Just Do It” slogan starring the former NFL player. The ad, titled “Dream Crazy”, displays shots of amateur and pro athletes and their stories. Kaepernick narrates, “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough.”


About halfway through the ad, Kaepernick looks at an American flag and says, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”


After being released on Twitter and YouTube, it provoked a wave of backlash with threats of boycotting Nike-branded products due to their alignment with Kaepernick. Some have even taken videos of their Nike shoes being burned, or pictures of people cutting out the Nike logo off their socks.


A few Coppell High School students note that Nike is mostly looking at the emotional side of the controversy and what the media portrays. They think Nike is only following mainstream media and there is not much we, as students, can do about it.


Many students think Nike is, in the end, getting the money, and the numbers agree: while Nike’s stock price has plunged, its sales have actually rose 27 percent in the days following the ad’s release.


“There was speculation that the Nike/Kaepernick campaign would lead to a drop in sales, but our data over the last week does not support that theory,” Hetal Pandya, co-founder of Edison Trends, said after Labor Day sales of Nike spiked.


Apart from the money, there are many people who stand behind Kaepernick’s actions.


“What [Kaepernick] did was good,” sophomore Rohan Srinivasan said. “Nike is only supporting someone who took a stand for something, whatever it is.”


And even still, others call upon free speech, arguing that people may just be overreacting. The resounding message is clear: While there are people who are opposed to the issue, the idea behind it is grounding.


While opinions on whether Nike was right to star Kaepernick in their ad line differ, CHS can agree it adds to the overarching message of students having an opinion. With the prevalence of social media, controversies such as this one become even more transparent and easier for people to share their opinion.