During the Falcons’ and Eagles’ football game on Thursday Night Football, Nike released their 30th-anniversary edition of their “Just Do It” ad.
This year’s edition featured a black and white photo of Colin Kaepernick, with text stating, “People say your dreams are crazy if they laugh at what you think you can do, good. Stay that way. Because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult, it’s a compliment.”
Though the ad has come under fire for featuring the controversial player, the choice was based around the struggles which he has overcome. Kaepernick was adopted by white parents. His only college scholarship was from the University of Nevada. Yet, having little did not stop the star athlete from making it to the NFL, and later becoming a starting quarterback to lead the San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII.
In this ad, Kaepernick is trying to inspire young athletes to never give up on their dreams, even if those closest to them do not support their vision.
It was Kaepernick’s dream to make it to the NFL. Not only did he make it there, but he excelled. After his massive success, he realized that he had a greater calling than being a quarterback. As a professional athlete, he realized that he receives a lot of attention doing what he does best. It was this realization that led to his controversial protest of kneeling during the national anthem, as a way of speaking out about the Black Lives Matter movement.
His actions attracted nationwide attention, even from the United States Government. Former President Barack Obama stated that Kaepernick is just exercising his constitutional right of freedom of speech, however, he said that he would prefer for Kaepernick to do anything but sit during the anthem.
On August 29, 2016, President Donald Trump stated for Kaepernick to find a country that’s a better fit for him.
On March 3, 2017, Colin Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. He has still not been picked up by a single NFL team, yet his actions are still affecting the league as a whole. In response to his actions, coaches have had their teams all stand, kneel, stay in the locker room, or lock arms during the anthem. NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has attempted to change the NFL rules to make players stand for the anthem, but that was still protested.
Kaepernick’s ad was just a message about following dreams, regardless of those who try to put them down. He may never throw a football again in the NFL, but he knows that what he is fighting for is worth the sacrifice. Kaepernick has been sponsored by Nike since he was a quarterback in the NFL, and following his protests, Nike is looking to revamp their deal with him.
During the spark of Kaepernick’s protest in 2016, his jersey became one of the NFL’s best selling-jerseys. According to Time Magazine, Nike sales have increased by 31 percent since the release of their ad.
On the other hand, some people are boycotting Nike because of Nike’s stance with Colin Kaepernick. People have been burning their Nike shoes and clothes in retaliation to the ad.
Yet, the ad still prevails, and Kaepernick’s message about dreaming big and not being afraid is one that will proudly represent the 30th edition of the “Just Do It” ad.