A day after Nike unveiled their new “Just Do It” ad campaign featuring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, several Americans shared photos and videos of them burning Nike products in protest.
Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, gained attention for taking a knee during the American anthem in the 2016 NFL season. He was protesting against the way the state police treated people of colour. Since then, he kneeled in protest in several other games.
Kaepernick was subsequently dropped by his team and not recruited by any other teams as the NFL even issued new guidelines against players protesting during the anthem. Nike’s stock fell on Tuesday after the advertisement was released as part of the 30th anniversary of ‘Just Do It’ slogan.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Nike’s new ad campaign not only featured the footballer, but also hinted at Kaepernick’s political stand with their tagline: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Clearly displeased with the sports brand, many people posted pictures and videos of them burning the company’s products on social media, using the hashtag #boycottNike and #justburnit.
The US president Donald Trump also criticised the campaign. “I think it’s a terrible message that (Nike) are sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it,” Trump told the Daily Caller.
— AlterAtYeshiva (@alteratyeshiva) September 4, 2018
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4
— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
However, there are others who are quite amused by the way people were reacting. While some supported Kaepernick, stating that his protest did not disrespect the flag or the country, others joked on how people burning their Nike products made no difference to the company as they already purchased them.
— Veronica (@PWLaVese) September 5, 2018
— Dana Alexander (@Comediandana) September 5, 2018
— Sarah Manyame (@Sasywalia) September 5, 2018
Surely peaceful protest is by definition a respectful act? – @Kaepernick7 @Nike Carry on the #JustBurnIt brigade, at the end of the day you’re only hurting yourselves by destroying something you’ve already paid for, and in the process are giving more exposure to the protest. pic.twitter.com/J6Bgcs3p2u
— Garry Abbott #StandUp4Brexit (@GarryAbbott) September 5, 2018
The #BoycottNike just caught my attention.
You’re burning shoes you have already bought? That Nike already has your money for?
So they have your money and you have no shoes. @Nike thanks you for your campaign donation
— Twidmife RM (@Twidmife) September 5, 2018
— Manolo Salinas (@EsManoloSalinas) September 5, 2018