Colin Kaepernick returned to being front and center in the news on Monday – after a quiet hiatus. Ironically, on a holiday honoring the American labor force, Nike chose to use the unemployed former San Francisco 49ers quarterback to make a statement.
A Nike advertisement featuring Kaepernick hit social media and instantly began trending nationwide for its controversial messaging. In it, two sentences lay superimposed on a black and white headshot of Kaepernick: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Not far away is the famous Nike slogan: “Just do it.”
If the ultimate goal was to make the National Football League one of the most politically divisive topics in America just a week before the start of the season, then sure, Nike did it all right.
In what alternate universe does a privileged athlete who amassed $39 million in a single contract qualify as having sacrificed “everything?”
To sacrifice everything, you have to be willing to part with life itself, like so many members of our military and law enforcement risk doing every single day.
This year, six American military service members have been killed in Afghanistan – one as recently as this past weekend. Since 2001, more than 2,400 American military members have been killed in Afghanistan and more than 4,500 have been killed in Iraq. These American heroes aren’t famous, and we’ll never see their faces on some glossy sports apparel poster.
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