Political message, or just another Nike ad?

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Tatum Luoma and Sam Hicks

On September 6, during the NFL opener, Nike aired their newest ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. The release of this ad led to nationwide controversy. Kaepernick’s decision to protest police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem led to him being labeled “un-American” by NFL executives. As a result, Kaepernick is not currently signed with any professional American football team.

We believe that Nike has made an acceptable decision in choosing to sign Kaepernick for this ad campaign. Kaepernick stands up for justice and equality within our police force and our nation. Even at the risk of his career, Kaepernick has continued to stand up for what he believes is right. The fact that Nike, a private company, is choosing to support Kaepernick is not something that deserves hatred. Everyone, even companies in America, deserve and have a right to their own opinions and freedom of speech.

Twitter poll from: @thecougarpress

Although this is our personal opinion, some students at VHS think otherwise. A recent poll asking VHS students showed that the majority of students agreed with the ad campaign, but junior Max Friedman disagrees. When asked what he thought about Nike’s collaboration with Kaepernick, Friedman said, “Well they [Nike] are trying to appeal to the youth or people who believe in that [Kaepernick kneeling]. I also think it would be unpatriotic of them to do that because he … doesn’t stand for the flag.”

Junior Max Friedman believes that Nike should not have signed Colin Kaepernick. Photo: Tatum Luoma

On the other side of the spectrum, senior Seth Quinn strongly supports the campaign and most of all Kaepernick himself. “It’s … awesome. He [Kaepernick] has sacrificed being a star in the game he loved in order to stand up to the wrongs he saw being commited. He used his platform for what he saw as the right thing … Nike is fantastic for recognizing this and doing this campaign, elevating awareness for the issues.”