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Nike Should Have Paid Attention to the NFL

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The National Football League has taught us not to mix sports and politics. They have suffered in television ratings the last two seasons, and if they aren’t careful this year will not be kind to them either. Some people do not like President Trump; however, they still take loving of the country seriously as he does, but some businesses chose politics over profits. Certain companies decide that making their product or service political will help them. Now, Nike has decided to take the most controversial former NFL player and make him a poster child. So far, not so good.


Colin Kaepernick started his protest against alleged police brutality at the start of the 2016 NFL season. This was around the time he started playing poorly, and struggled mightily in games and eventually earned a place on the bench. After that season there was no contract renewal. Kaepernick is no longer an NFL quarterback, but one of the most despised professional sports players in the country. Dennis Rodman must be jealous. 

Regardless of what Kaepernick says, he is disrespecting the American flag and anthem. Most Americans look at the stars and stripes and see freedom and liberty. It doesn’t directly represent law enforcement, but what military service members have lost. Simply put, the flag represents the sacrifice of all branches of our military.

Where has Nike been the last couple of years? Have the executives been living under a rock, or on a three-year-long space journey? This week the sports company took Kaepernick and made him the face. They posted his picture with a saying that states,” Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Then their famous motto “just do it” was underneath the quote.

First of all, Kaepernick has not sacrificed a thing. If anything, he is gaining monetarily in this whole charade. Nike failed to see that many Americans are tired of Kaepernick’s anti-American sentiments. 


When the NFL failed to gain control of an employee of their business and allowed him to politicize a game, their ratings began to drop and have continued to fall. Nike is experiencing the same thing. 

This week a poll was conducted and the results are devastating. The crux of Kaepernick’s gripe is that law enforcement unfairly targets the African-American community. In an apparent attempt to market more to potential urban customers they chose Kaepernick, but Nike’s popularity decreased among blacks instead. Nike’s stock fell 3.16%, costing them $2.8 billion, just like the NFL has lost money.

Before the campaign release, Nike had a 76% favorable rating to a 7% unfavorable. Now, those numbers are 60% favorable to 33% unfavorable. One thing to keep in mind is these numbers did not fall because there was a terrible shoe made then sold. The poll changed dramatically after the Kaepernick release. 

Research in the polling reveals how little Kaepernick is doing to change public opinion in his favor. If anything, the public is tired of him and his antics.

Football fans want to escape politics for a few hours. This country is in perhaps its most highly politicized time ever since the Civil War. Nike has chosen a side and perpetuated Kaepernick’s unproven claim and legitimized him at a time when the numbers show that Americans have become fatigued with him. 


Polls are not the only measuring stick. Just take a look at social media. Citizens, professional athletes, a sports store, where the owner is risking everything and even a college are revolting against the apparel and equipment behemoth. 

Nike, if you want to continue losing money to the tune of billions, “just do it.”

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