Nike stays silent after Colin Kaepernick rejects Independence Day as a 'celebration of white supremacy'
Sports giant Nike has remained silent since one of their leading pitchmen Colin Kaepernick dubbed Independence Day as a "celebration of white supremacy".
On Saturday afternoon, Kaepernick took to his Twitter handle to share a post where he accused America of having "dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized" black people for centuries. Kaepernick took to Twitter to talk about the rejection and also shared a video of the actor James Earl Jones reciting Frederick Douglass's speech, "What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?"
The video featured many shocking visuals that have included pictures of slave auctions, KKK members, lynching, videos of officers beating up Black inmates and racist caricature drawings. His tweet stated, "Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of 'independence', while you enslaved our ancestors."
"We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all," the tweet continued. Nike, which has always backed up Kaepernick and his activism, has not yet commented on Kaepernick's tweet, Breitbart reports.
Just last year before Independence Day, Kaepernick had managed to convince Nike to ditch their "Betsy Ross Flag" sneakers that the company had announced and produced to mark Independence Day. Kaepernick had contacted Nike officials and said that "he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery". Post Kaepernick complaining, Nike had asked retailers to return the shoes.
Even though Nike has not yet commented on Kaepernick's views on Independence Day, social media users did and were not very happy with what Kaepernick had to share.
One such user wrote, "I’m a black combat veteran. I celebrate the 4th. We have millions of Black Men & Women that are real-life hero’s that 'I' myself am very proud of and thankful for their sacrifices so that I can continue the legacy of freedom. I am an American because of them!" Another wrote, "Followed @Kaepernick7 and defended his taking a knee in protest against anti-black racism and police brutality, but this latest sentiment is no longer a sane, rational or worthy of respect. The American project is not one of white supremacy, but of expanding liberation for all."
Another Twitter user who echoed the sentiments said, "If it wasn't for America separating from the British and winning the revolutionary war you wouldn't have the freedom that you have today to say and do what you want. Yes, I understand there is still a racism issue and that we should treat everyone equally."
Back in 2016, Kaepernick was seen kneeling while the US national anthem was played before a game as a protest against racial injustice, police brutality and systemic oppression in the country. Ever since then, he has not played a season in the NFL. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had recently apologized to Kaepernick for not listening to him and the other players who had protested racial inequality.
During an interview with ESPN's Mike Greenberg, Goodell said, "If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it's gonna take a team to make that decision. I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that."