Point, counterpoint: just burn it

Benjamin Harper:

On Sept. 1, 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked a nationwide controversy when he chose to kneel for the national anthem. But, Kaepernick’s protest is nothing new.
Black athletes have always used their publicity to protest the United States government’s discriminatory policies against African Americans.
From Muhammad Ali’s refusal to serve in Vietnam to Tommie Smith and John Carlos sticking up black power salutes at the 1968 Olympics, athletes have always used their platform to protest injustices.
Kaepernick said he would not stand up and give his support to a country that oppresses black people, particularly one in which police brutality is so prevalent.
Nike’s endorsement of Kaepernick by putting him as the face of their “Just Do It” campaign is a good step in the right direction.
While it certainly led to controversy, the ad campaign has generated a record level of engagement with the brand.
According to recent reports from ESPN and CNBC, a month after the ad Nike’s stock has gone up 6.25 percent, adding almost 6.38 billion dollars to the company’s value.
It sends a message to rival brands to take a stance on a controversial issue. Nike knew this ad would alienate some of their customer base, but they stuck by Kaepernick and spread his voice to more people than ever.
In my opinion, Kaepernick’s actions will go down like those athletes years ago.
Nike’s endorsement of Kaepernick’s bold protest display society’s willingness to change.

Grady Dillon:

Nike’s stock market and reputation took a significant dip as a result to their advertisement. Nike customers uploaded thousands of videos burning their Nike shoes, jackets and other products in frustration of the Colin Kaepernick-Nike collaboration. While I do not agree with customers burning their expensive Nike products, they should be unhappy.
In the San Francisco 49ers’ final 2016 preseason game, quarterback Kaepernick opted to kneel during the national anthem. Soon after, other players around the NFL followed his lead, which incited boos from the crowd. These spectators had good reason to do so, as watching your favorite team disrespect the American flag is not a pleasant sight.
Although burning Nike products is irrational, there is no reason to buy things from a corporation that advertises with a figure disrespecting America and its flag. The 2016 NFL ratings and Nike’s stock exchange plummeting has demonstrated the effects of kneeling.
According to the Denver Post, “ratings through the first nine weeks [of the 2016-17 season] plunged by double digits. ‘Monday Night Football’ ratings are down by more than 20 percent.” NFL’s ratings were strong in 2015 with a total of 1.9 billion views, but ratings plunged because of the political outbursts of NFL players like Kaepernick, and now Nike is suffering from their advertisement deal with him. According to The Wrap, Nike lost 3.75 billion dollars in their market cap.
Despite customers taking it too far by burning their Nike products, their actions came from a source of frustration most people should feel.