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Point/Counterpoint: Disrespecting the country or accomplishing the impossible?

POINT: Nike’s Kaepernick advertisement disrespects the country

By Macie Rummel and Grace Regnier

The face of an add is a really big piece of the company, and the face itself is a large message. Recently, in the past week Colin Kaepernick became the showing face for the brand Nike.

Kaepernick had a very courageous act of defiance, kneeling during the National Anthem at his football game showed a great deal of disrespect. Not only did he show a lot of disrespect to his country and those who serve for his country, but he lost his spot on the San Francisco 49ers and everything he had.

Supporting Kaepernick after his rude stunt is only encouraging him to continue showing disrespect for the men and women fighting for him and the country he lives in. Encouraging these actions could lead to more people following Kaepernick, causing more people to show disrespect to the United States and the military.

Nike’s quote for Kaepernick is, “Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means sacrificing everything.” However, what is “everything,”? Family, friends, he still has those. While taking this action he may have lost followers because they disagree, but while he was losing followers, he was also gaining followers, the people who agree with him. So, with all that being said, he lost very few followers if any. The only thing that really leave him to lose is money. However, if Nike is using him to be the face of Nike and paying him to be in their ad, he can’t lose money if Nike is supplying money to him. So where is the sacrifice?

Both Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem and Nike deciding to put Kaepernick in the ad has angered people.

Anger from people all over the United States has drove people, such as the military and the people fighting for our country, musicians, people who formerly worked for the United States President, and even professional athletes to not only stop wearing the brand but to take motions such as burning their gear, throwing Nike equipment away, and cutting the Nike swoosh out of shoes and articles of clothing.

Some people say that Kaepernick being in the ad is a good thing because he is standing up for what he believes in. However, if you watch the ad every other person in the ad shows people who accomplished something that seemed impossible, something extraordinary. By kneeling during the National Anthem he accomplished nothing except make those who fight for or support our country very mad.

The Spectator not only wanted the internet’s opinion, but they wanted to dig deeper and find out how Batavia High School students felt about Nike’s bold move.

“What he did was rude, and uncalled for and him being in the ad was frustrating that they (Nike) support what he did and it urged me to burn my clothes,” said Batavia High School student, Cooper Chvojcsek.

Throughout the past week many students have been asked, “Do you think Colin Kaepernick being the face of Nike is good, or do you agree with it?” Here are the results to this week’s big question.


COUNTERPOINT: Nike’s Kaepernick advertisement is brilliant

By Lucy Lisberg and Isabella Brooks

First Rosa Parks, then Muhammad Ali, and now Colin Kaepernick. A simple Nike ad with the former San Francisco 49ers player has created one of the most talked about controversies and built a new civil rights activist. The commercial with Kaepernick was a brilliant idea with an amazing message behind it and should be strongly supported by many.

Kaepernick is one of the many brave football players who took a knee during the national anthem as a way to peacefully protest the discrimination against African-Americans in the U.S. Nike should not be disowned for portraying him as the new face of their brand; instead, they should be praised. Kaepernick deserves all the support possible, for he is simply just another American citizen standing up to racism. Texas Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Beto O’Rourke went into detail on a few of the many people in history who stood up for civil rights, stating Kaepernick is no different than any one of them.

He mentioned those who died in Philadelphia for trying to be a man or woman in this country, those who were killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, those who were harassed at the Woolworth lunch counter for sitting with the whites, those who were beaten for trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and his list goes on and on.

“I can think of nothing more American,” said O’Rourke, “than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee for your rights.”

Nike also benefited from the commercial, considering their online sales have also gone up 31 percent in the past week. Although they had a slightly rough time after the ad came out, they are now gaining more popularity.

“Nike added roughly 170,000 Instagram followers around the timing of the release of its ad campaign, and hit an all-time high on Thursday,” said CNBC. This clearly shows the people’s support for Nike and the ad.

Some may say Kaepernick’s movement was disrespectful to our nation, embarrassing to watch, and Nike was wrong in using his face to portray their message. Others believe it is rude to dishonor the nation’s flag, but it is also rude to discriminate against people just because of their skin color, and that is the message that Kaepernick is trying to get across. Our country was founded on equal rights for anyone and everyone. If Kaepernick, along with other players kneeling, gets enough backlash to lose their job, it is simply unconstitutional. The first amendment allows the right of citizens to peacefully assemble as a petition or protest. Kaepernick is a prime example of American citizens freely expressing their beliefs.

The rights of the American citizens allow them to speak out about their beliefs, without getting reprimanded. Kaepernick was following his constitutional right to peacefully protest. He created a movement, and the support he is receiving from Nike deserves to go down in history as a monumental event in the civil rights movement.

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