Colin Kaepernick must have been disenchanted but didn’t know how to make his opposition known.
Eventually, he found his voice and the San Francisco 49ers quarterback chose not to stand during the national anthem at a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on August 26, 2016.
The move stunned his teammates, as well as, team handlers as they interpreted it as showing disrespect to the state, but after the game, Kaepernick said: “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”
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By oppression, Kaepernick was referencing the wanton killing of unarmed black people by police officers who often are Caucasian.
Proving he was as much about deeds, as well as, words, Kaepernick crucially then donated $1 million to charity. The decision to protest injustices perpetrated against his people has cost him money, jobs and opportunities as he remains unemployed.
Some of the football teams have also blacklisted him while others fear being targeted upon hiring him.
However, upon his brave stand, the hairy fellow has gained support too and now, a Nike commercial which starred him and featured other athletes like Shaquem Griffin, LeBron James and Serena Williams, has taken the award for outstanding commercial at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sunday.
Upon its release last year, the ad earned as much praise and support as it irked others because of Kaepernick. The ad, titled ‘Dream Crazy’, and released last September, had the slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.”
For those who loved the ad, they tweeted messages of support and swiftly followed Nike’s Instagram account but those who found everything wrong with Kaepernick’s protest threatened to never buy Nike products again, with some even burning their sneakers.
Piling up the pressure on Nike, a couple of conservative colleges even considered ending their relationship with the company over the ad with the mayor of a Louisiana town attempting to ban the sale of Nike products at public facilities.
Even U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that Nike was “getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.”
However, Nike had the last laugh as its stock price surged as the commercial became fodder for conversations for weeks. For Millennials and Generation Z, they saw nothing wrong with Kaepernick’s protest as it was well within the law, hence, they went out and got themselves some Nike products, leading to a spike in sales.
The win will put a smile on the excommunicated NFL quarterback’s face, making him believe in the rightness of his resolve while giving Nike a pat on the shoulder to add their voice to campaigns that matter.