By LAUREN CLOSS
In 2016, former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick took initiative to stand against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games as an act of passive protest. Recently, Nike announced that Kaepernick would be the face of their latest “Just do it” campaign.
The campaign plays on the idea that we should “just do it,” even if it means risking it all like Kaepernick did. As he says in the advertisement, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The announcement that Kaepernick would be the face of the campaign caused an uproar of angry Nike customers. From angry tweets to burnt shoes, Nike saw it all, as they watched their stock drop by 4% as well as losing $3.75 billion.
His campaign to peacefully protest against racial discrimination and police brutality has been compared by many to the methods of civil rights leaders including James Farmer with the Freedom Rides. As a university community that strives to uphold the legacy of James Farmer and other civil rights leaders, we should learn from Kaepernick’s example. James Farmer said, “Courage, after all, is not being unafraid, but doing what needs to be done in spite of fear.” There may be consequences, but when it comes to standing for what we believe in, we need to “just do it” whether it be by riding a bus or taking a knee.