Piers Morgan slams Colin Kaepernick for not standing for the flag but bowing down to Nike dollars
His protest pulled the nation into two halves, and now after signing in for Nike's latest campaign, Colin has once again put the people in a state of dilemma.
San Fransisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick is probably now one of the most polarising figures in sports, and it all happened when he refused to stand up for the national anthem back in 2016. As a protest against the indiscriminate shootings and other injustices done to the African-Americans and other minorities in the US, the player who is at present without a team began the movement "take a knee" which is now being followed by a wave of players.
Colin did receive several backlashes from people. He was not even spared by President Donald Trump who easily seized the opportunity during a rally at Alabama where he claimed that team owners should "get that son of a b***h off the field". However, in Colin's own words he was "not looking for approval". "I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right", he had said. While his protest was carried on by several other players, it did cost him an entire season and he is now a player without a team.
As Piers Morgan points out in his article for Daily Mail, Colin had opted out of his seven-year contract with the 49ers and was not signed for any other team or games throughout the off-season. Being unemployed presently, he has also lost a probable amount of $30-60 million in salary and endorsements since his protest. However, Morgan mentioned that Colin signing up for Nike's latest campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their "Just Do It" slogan is just as hypocritical. Morgan claimed, "It has also been regularly lambasted for hypocritically preaching equality and fairness whilst sweatshop workers in countries like China, Mexico, Vietnam and Indonesia slave away producing its products for pitifully low wages."
Several fans were enraged when Nike declared that Colin was supposed to be the face of their latest campaign. While Nike has described him as "one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation", several people have in turn burned out their Nike goodies as a protest against the man who has now divided the country. In Morgan's opinion, Nike was probably able to take up the risk to receive such immense hatred from its consumers because it is "the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment - with annual revenues of $35 billion."
As a sign of protest, Twitter was flooded with #JustBurnIt (a parody on Nike's original slogan "Just Do It") which trended alongside #BoycottNike. People soon began to burn down Nike shoes, socks and other items claiming that the company should not have signed the man who refused to stand up during the national anthem and has, in the process, insulted the flag of America. On the other hand, Nike's move was supported by their brand ambassador Serena Williams who said, "Having a huge company back him could be a controversial reason for this company, but they're not afraid. I feel like that was a really powerful statement to a lot of other companies." Venture capitalist, Arlan Hamilton, too showed her support by immediately purchasing a new pair of Nike shoes.
However, as Morgan marked out, Nike is already under the scanner for public criticism since its name appeared in the Paradise Papers exposing it as one of those who utilized overseas companies in order to avoid taxes. "So the company’s ethical halo under which they are now placing their controversial new idol, in open defiance of the President of the United States and all those who oppose the kneeling protests, is already heavily dented." According to Morgan, Colin might regret his decision of joining hands with Nike as " it turns out Nike has not just been paying him vast sums of money throughout this whole protest process, they have also just signed him up to a whacking new multi-million dollar deal."
As the tag for Colin's Nike campaign remains, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything", Morgan claims that Colin certainly has not sacrificed everything. "Indeed, it could be argued that Kaepernick will now make more money from Nike and the vast PR impact of this new deal than he ever would have done as an aging, declining football player."
You shouldn't have done it, Colin."
While Colin representing Nike has once again torn the country into two halves, it is now difficult to state if Colin's fight is for an actual cause or if it is all just a show.