“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
These were the words that rocked the internet this week. Well, it’s not so much the words that had people talking; it was the person who spoke them. You see, a few years ago, Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, decided to protest racial injustices and the brutal acts of police officers by kneeling during the national anthem. Kneeling … what’s the big deal, you might ask? The big deal is that the national anthem is a symbol of the sacrifices that service men and women make every day to protect the United States. Mr. Kaepernick’s seemingly small act of protest caught the attention of people around the country and even the world. Some thought that his behavior was offensive toward these men and women, while others found it to be a powerful message about what’s happening in the country, and protested alongside him. Since that fateful season, Mr. Kaepernick has not been signed by another NFL team to play professional football—some say that he sacrificed his career for standing up for what he believed in. Well, it looks like Nike, the world’s largest sports apparel company, is taking a stand with Mr. Kaepernick. For Nike’s 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” ad campaign, the company teamed up with Mr. Kaepernick (and a number of other well-known athletes such as LeBron James and Serena Williams) to send an important and inspiring message of doing and being more. While some loved that Mr. Kaepernick was included in the ad, others did not. In fact, some found the ad so offensive that they started cutting Nike’s signature swoosh off of their clothes and posting their actions on social media. Nike stands to lose millions (and possibly even billions!) of dollars from the backlash, but they’re standing by their campaign and even decided to air the commercial early so that it would coincide with the first NFL game of the season. Now that’s what we call taking a stand for what you believe in.
What do you believe in?