On Sept. 3, Nike made Colin Kaepernick the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” ad. Kaepernick gained popularity for quarterbacking the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl and gained notoriety for kneeling for the anthem in 2016. He took the knee to support black and other minority rights, Kaepernick said to NFL media. Many people supported his actions while others were outraged at the “unpatriotic” disrespect for the flag and those who fought for this country. This outrage continued into the 2018 Nike campaign, where people are burning, trashing or mutilating Nike gear.
Destroying Nike gear you already bought does nothing to hurt Nike. You’ve already paid for your product, so no matter what you do with them, Nike still profited. Even posting critical views about Nike gives the company more coverage and press. The company’s sales surged 31 percent after the “Just Do It” ad, despite the fierce backlash. No matter what, Nike is “just doing” fine.
While you have the right to do with the products what you will, destroying the product is a waste of resources. Even if you don’t want to support Nike, you could donate your unwanted products to charitable organizations. Those Nike shoes or shorts can be given to people who would actually use them, like the thousands of homeless veterans.
Veterans make up 11 percent of the homeless population, according to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans. These are the people who actually fought for the flag Kaepernick kneeled in front of, but some are homeless due to a cultural disregard for helping the impoverished. Instead of defending veterans, burning Nike gear shows you’d rather selfishly make a point rather than assist the people you’re actually advocating for.
If one were to truly impact Nike, stop supporting the company monetarily. Stop tweeting about Kaepernick and the “Just Do It” ad. You’ll make up the minority of people digging their heels into the ground as awareness for deep issues in America continue to be raised and addressed, but at least you’ll actually get your point across accurately. You’re free to do what you want with your Nike gear, but put it to better use than fuel for ineffectiveness.