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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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SHMACKEM: Nike boycott has racist undertones

Carlos Ruiz

The public outrage that Nike has received for using former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in its ad campaign has been uncalled for, some people actually burned Nike merchandise as a form of protest, which reeks of a modern-subtle form of racism.

Nike’s ad was unveiled on Labor Day as a special 30th anniversary ad for its “Just Do It” campaign which featured Kaepernick with the slogan “Believe in something. Even it it means sacrificing everything”

Amid the immediate controversy a full length video following the theme of the slogan was released. It features Kap and is narrated by him as well.

The shoe giant has faced backlash from racists disguised as patriots who aim to boycott the company.

The particular group of people are currently showing their true colors with the display of burning Nike shoes and destroying other Nike products and apparel in a public protest.

A Louisiana high school teacher, Valerie Scogin made several racist statements in response to the ad, she said, “Want to not be stereotyped, tell people of that color to quit acting like animals and perpetuating that stereotype.”

It’s ironic that the same people who are angry at Nike for using Kaepernick, who has become a revolutionary for his peaceful protesting on the NFL sidelines, are protesting Nike by burning shoes they purchased, which is not even close to being a peaceful protest, in fact it’s quite the opposite.

It has been over two years since Kaepernick first began the controversal kneeling during the national anthem on Sept. 1, 2016 and some people still don’t get it. They can’t grasp the logical reasoning behind it, it’s truly sad.

One Twitter user commented, “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?”

This is a prime example of a person who just does not get it. Kneeling during the anthem is done to shed light and bring attention to the unsolicited killing of unarmed black people and the injustices against people of color.

Kneeling during the anthem is not a protest on the flag or the song itself, it’s on the inequality that people of color face on a daily bases living in white America.

In fact, kneeling is actually a form of respect in some religions and cultures.

Even during a proposal, it’s traditional for the individual who proposes to kneel on one knee, as they propose. Where’s the outrage at that?

According to a tweet from ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike apparently has been “waiting for the right moment” to utilize Kaepernick

Kaepernick was drafted in 2011 and originally signed with Nike that same year. However, his deal from seven years ago was set to expire soon, with Kap’s deal expiring, Nike reworked the original contract extending it to a multi-year deal.

The agreement is rumored to include billboards, television commercials and online ads featuring Kap as the focal point.

Additionally, Nike is set to launch an apparel line with charitable contributions going to Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights charity foundation.

It’s a glorious day when bigots don’t get their way. As it turns out the so called boycott on Nike has actually backfired exponentially, as the company saw its sales increase.

According to research from Edison Trends, online sales of Nike products jumped 31 percent during Labor Day weekend, after the Kaepernick ad. Last year Nike saw a sales increase of only 17 percent during the same time span.

People who commit these acts sometimes don’t fully understand that there’s an element of racism connected. Burning jerseys of black athletes has become sort of a cringy trend as well, now it’s burning Nike’s because they support a black man who peacefully protested during the anthem.

It’s up to the individuals who are acting without understanding to get educated in diversity.

Although, it’s difficult to make that change with a president who stirs up controversy and fills people with backwards ideologies, that’s the change that needs to happen.


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About the Contributors
Jah-Tosh Baruti
Jah-Tosh Baruti, Staff Writer
Jah-Tosh Baruti is author of the sports column titled Shmackem. Previously he was sports editor for Talon Marks. Baruti also took home an award for his sports writing at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ state conference in 2018.
Carlos Ruiz
Carlos Ruiz, Managing Editor
Carlos Ruiz is the Managing Editor for Talon Marks. He admires photography, and even launched his own website and has dedicated his Instagram to his work. His dream job is always changing, but most recently, he would like to travel the world taking photos, or something having to do with photojournalism. He’s hopeful to continue working on a newspaper staff at the CSU he decides to attend.  
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SHMACKEM: Nike boycott has racist undertones