Colin Kaepernick’s latest Nike advertisement is receiving quite the response from both his haters and supporters; stirring the pot of controversy once again.
By Neil Harrington
Who else remembers when Colin Kaepernick was an NFL All-Pro Quarterback, just a heartbeat away from a Super Bowl title with the San Francisco 49ers? A man who was well respected by both friend and foe. Yeah, me neither.
Those days are long gone, the days of Kaepernick being beloved by an entire nation; a nation that now, either stands against him or takes a knee with him.
It all started with a peaceful kneel, a protest, during an obscure NFL game in September of 2016. However, such action was during the playing of the National Anthem, which didn’t sit well with many Americans.
Since then, Kaepernick’s actions have spread like wildfire across the NFL and the entire sports world — and beyond.
WATCH: entire Garfield HS football team and coaching staff kneels during national anthem pic.twitter.com/LSTqku9QDb
— Heather Graf (@ABC7HeatherGraf) September 17, 2016
Now, Kaepernick’s latest advertisement with Nike has thrown fuel to the fire, generating a mixed bag of responses.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
In reality, there are solely two types of responses.
What his protests truly have done is drawn a line in the stand. Either kneel with Kaepernick or stand against him. There’s zero middle ground with this issue.
You either love Kaepernick.
Dear Racists Who Refuse to Read,#ColinKaepernick has never owed you an apology for asking that people of color be treated with decency.
That you were so hell-bent on being outraged and so committed to declaring his motives despite his statements—proves he was right to kneel.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) September 4, 2018
Or, you hate him.
If you want to discuss sacrificing EVERYTHING. Let’s remember what sacrificing EVERYTHING means.
— TheOfficerNextDoor 🇺🇸 (@OfficerNextDoor) September 4, 2018
Kaepernick’s supporters are stocking up on Nike gear, while his haters are boycotting the “Just Do It” philosophy.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 4, 2018
Both sides of the debate do have one thing in common; a failure to listen. Those supporting Kaepernick refuse to realize how much those actions disrespect the flag of our great country.
For some, kneeling during the playing of the anthem is like trampling on the flag.
Meanwhile, those against Kaepernick and his cause aren’t hearing what he’s saying either. Racism is as prominent as ever in our country, and he’s speaking out against it. Peacefully.
Here’s the basis of Kaepernick’s kneeling; and why he started doing so in the first place.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
I genuinely believe that (most) people want what Kaepernick wants; even those who oppose the when of his protests.
If both sides realized that they are on the same side, I feel we would make genuine progress. The failure to show empathy for each opposing “side” has caused an even greater divide in America.
I feel if we listened. Empathized. Listened some more, we may make strides in understanding both sides of the coin.
Unfortunately, we are more concerned about being right, than truly resolving this (unnecessary) internal hatred spawned by a failure to listen.