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Don't Let Colin Kaepernick's Message Get Swamped by the Nike Swoosh

Don't Let Colin Kaepernick's Message Get Swamped by the Nike Swoosh

Dave Zirin

Colin Kaepernick’s status as a global cultural icon of resistance has never seemed more secure. After two years of being seen as a symbol of radical dissent, and after one season of being shut out of the National Football League for daring to use the national anthem as a vehicle to protest police violence and racial inequity, he has reemerged this week with an explosive impact, as the face—and voice—of the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign.


Why would anybody expect “the ad” to address “police violence” when we have been living in a fascist police state for so long where police and the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) have all the authority with no accountability ?


The author focuses on Nike - and not Kaepernick. I believe that’s wrong. We don’t need an article to tell us what Nike stands for: by definition it stands for one thing and one only “to make profits” - at anybodyelse’s expense.

But Kaepernick stood for something. And police/state violence is part and parcel of a system that protects and defends Nike’s interests, not those of the people Kaepernick wants to stand for. By singling out “police” as this independent force within the system, one is playing in the hands of the system - that hides behind this notion, that is the police that is bad, not us. The police - is the state.

Need I repeat? Militarism, Racism, Consumerism/Capitalism. By embracing consumerism/capitalism, you don’t find racism.

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“There is nothing in the ad about police violence or systemic racism or any of the issues that animated Kaepernick’s actions in the first place.”

True, but his message has been lost for a while. Throughout the media, they’ve been unquestioningly (since it came mostly from Trump to begin with,) suggesting that he just doesn’t like America. Even so-called liberal outlets seem to have forgotten that, oh, yeah, cops are killing black kids.


Nike’s new advertisement with Colin Kaepernick is simply an advertisement featuring a man who believes strongly in the message he was trying to convey to the public.

His noble message was straightforward and to the point.

It is only those with an affinity towards Hate that twisted and distorted Mr. Kaepernicks words.

Nike has chosen to make it known that they too agree that there is a urgent issue with Law Enforcement in this country treating people of color in a violent and often times, deadly manner.

In doing so, Nike has taken up an opposing view to the twisted reaction from Donald Trump, which in reality is merely more lies designed to rally those who wish to believe those lies and hate those Trump has directed them to hate.


I am glad that NIKE is paying him Ibecasiue the silly racist football people are ignoring him and he is said to be a really good player. I never watch football—but I do worry about all the players that have severe brain injuries and early death effaces from this rough sport. : ( Because of this effect, I look at football as a sad facsimile of Rome’s Gladiator Game and ---- so, as sad as the military fly overs are, they make perfect sense in a gladiator nation kind of way.
I do think Mr. Kaepernick is a wonderful role model for all ages and all genders and all nations--------because he does stand up for people and education and supporting those with less----and even in reminding football players—there is LIFE after football! I would like to see other sports figures recognize that the flag is just a symbol of what America is said to be…maybe gymnasts will take a headstand for our upside down world, where the WORDS of promise are there , but the reality is often missing. Maybe tennis players need to take the strings out of the rackets and show how difficult it is for human beings to play, when all people are not given the tools to be equally treated in what has come to be called, the game of Life.


“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Colin Kaepernick

“It was just something - I didn’t agree with what the flag was representing at this time, and you know, if you look at the original picture where people addressed it, I was trying to sit behind the coolers and out of the way, 'cause I didn’t want to interrupt anybody else’s right to stand and hold attention to the flag.” Colin Kaepernick

“I prefer a man who will burn the flag and then wrap himself in the Constitution to a man who will burn the Constitution and then wrap himself in the flag.” Craig Washington


bless Dave Zirin for bring us up short on the commercial put out by Nike, one of the scum corporations on the planet. I too do not fault Kaepernick for taking their money. If he cannot practice his chosen profession, then the next best thing he can and should do is take the money and continue to use his voice in protest against white supremacy and police brutality. btw did you know that lots of police were recruited from southern states and are jumped on once they leave the military? We have brutalized our young men and now women thru an imperial military that feels it has the right to invade and determine the lives of millions of people on the planet for the benefit of monopoly capitalists and the rest of the rich in the world, leaving the rest of us in poor circumstances. Wake up amerika and say enuf is enuf. If we minded our own business, stayed home and took care of our millions, what a wonderful country, world and planet it would be.


In a curious way, both the NFL and Kaepernick are both whores taking advantage of the US’s fascination with violence rather thinly disguised as as sport. The NFL sucks up to law enforcement and the military for pay, Kaepernick has said, "okay, I will whore myself to maybe one of the most toxic corporations in existence.

In a country that has used non-stop constant war overseas and a school to jail slave labor system at home as type of economic stimulus, this is understandable and also disgusting at the same time.

Right you are. Nike’s CEO Phil Knight gave $1 million to the Republican opponent of Oregon’s incumbent governor Kathleen Brown.

Cops are killing all kinds of people, not just black kids. The racial angle is a big part of this, but only part.

If we could find a link between al-Qaida and U.S. police, one would think some in federal or local government would make a high priority out of rooting out the bad elements. There are over 100,000 such links, as al-Qaida and DAESH/ISIS are creations of the U.S. military, and something like 16% of U.S. police are military veterans, and connected to these terrorist organizations.