Commentary: Colin Kaepernick is an american hero

Michael Pearce, Sports Editor

Nike made national and world headlines when they announced the new face of their ad campaign, Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was pictured, and the text on the photo read “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

After this campaign was released, tremendous uproar followed and the next day Nike’s shares fell 3 percent in value according to CNBC.

Many upset individuals have taken to Twitter to voice their concern with this ad, even cutting the Nike swoosh logo off of their clothing that they own. While this may get significant internet attention, it won’t do anything to stop Nike.

If you are upset with Nike and their choice in advertising, I get that. An appropriate solution to this anger is to take all of your Nike clothes and donate them to some homeless shelters or veteran organizations to help benefit homeless war veterans. Give them your unwanted socks, shoes, pants and shirts that are Nike brand and help those veterans that you claim to care so deeply about.

It is still unbelievable to me that some people can call Kaepernick anything other than what he is, an american hero.

Colin Kaepernick led the San Francisco 49ers deep into the playoffs and even to a Super Bowl one year as a starting quarterback. Despite struggling in the NFL in 2015 and 2016, he still would have been a hot commodity on the free agent market had he not knelt for the anthem. He laid his entire career on the line in order to stand up for what he believed in and to try and fight against racial injustice and police brutality.

He chose the anthem because he didn’t feel he could stand and salute a country that mistreated (and still does treat) African-American citizens so poorly. His protest was never about the anthem itself, or the veterans that fought for this country.

Detractors will fixate on the fact that veterans died for our freedom and that Kaepernick should respect them. I would like to direct anyone who thinks this way to, and the hashtag #VeteransforKaepernick. This hashtag shows there are tens of thousands of veterans who support this protest during the anthem. Veterans who have honorably served this nation to fight for freedom.

Veterans lay their lives on the line for our ability to speak out against what we feel is unjust. This includes sitting or kneeling for the national anthem. Kaepernick was exercising his free speech rights, and if you think that is a problem, you are the problem.

I ask anyone reading this who disagrees with Nike, to look in the mirror. Look into the mirror and really ask why you are angry about Kaepernick being praised. Is it because of veterans? Or is it because you don’t agree with what he has to say and want to discount the reality of how minorities are treated in the U.S..

If it’s the latter, I suggest you take the scissors out of your hands, put your Nike socks back in your sock drawer and open your eyes to the state of race relations and police brutality in this country.