Monday, 24 September 2018
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People Are Already Burning Their Nikes in Response to the Colin Kaepernick Ad

People Are Already Burning Their Nikes in Response to the Colin Kaepernick Ad
05 Sep
12:23
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Getty ImagesMatt Winkelmeyer

Yesterday, Nike revealed that Colin Kaepernick—the central figure in the NFL’s “take a knee” protests—is one of the faces of the 30th anniversary campaign for the sportswear giant’s iconic “Just Do It” slogan. Now, people are lighting their shoes on fire. Just another day in America!

It all started Sunday afternoon when Kaep announced the new campaign on Twitter:

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Pretty striking, especially considering the fact that Kaepernick’s displays have meant very real sacrifice. The quarterback started protesting in 2016 amidst a wave of police shootings of black people, and was out of work by March 2017. He’s still a free agent, and his collusion case against the NFL won an important preliminary victory last week.

People of all walks naturally responded with grace, poise, and constraint. Just kidding! Some folks who conflate the player protests against social ills in America with just plain hating America/the flag/the national anthem (pick one) got very angry! And so they started destroying their own Nike gear. With fire.

Sometimes they didn’t even bother with containment procedures. This one’s just a wildfire waiting to happen. Safety first, people.

If that’s not enough, country duo Big & Rich’s “Soundman” (errant capitalization or actual sonic superhero?) cut the Nike swooshes off of his socks. By the looks of it, he was blindfolded and using those safety scissors they give to kindergartners so they don’t hurt themselves.

This is both amazing and incredibly stupid. Amazing because, well… people are, with no apparent sense of irony or self-awareness, lighting stuff they paid for on fire and calling it a boycott. That’s also the reason it’s incredibly stupid. Boycotting is supposed to be a means of putting economic pressure on a company. Much like when all those MAGA dudes started buying tons of Starbucks, the concept collapses when you have already given the company your money.

There will likely be a few folks who make some noises about how this is just the flip side of the New Balance protests that jumped into the national spotlight when a company exec made some pro-Trump comments after the 2016 election. To that point, I’ll say this: One of those protests was rooted in disgust that a man who campaigned on racism and was caught on tape bragging about sexual assault had recently been elected President of the United States. The other is rooted in anger that members of a professional sporting organization are making a public show of rejecting police brutality and institutional racism. One of these things is not like the other.

On the plus side, we’re already getting the inevitable upshot of this sort of protest: good trolls. The world is exhausting. Shoes are on fire. But sometimes the internet isn’t all bad.

Source: https://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/a22969808/colin-kaepernick-nike-ad-burning-sneakers-response/

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