If you’ve been out enjoying a lovely holiday weekend, you may have missed the controversy. Nike is celebrating 30 years of the “Just Do It” campaign by running a series of ads with athletes they have labeled “influencers”. First up, Colin Kaepernick.
You remember him right? Kaepernick is the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who inspired and infuriated players and fans by “taking a knee” during the national anthem to protest police brutality and inequality against African Americans and other minorities.
Kaepernick has since has left the NFL, opting out of the last year of his contract with the 49ers. Due to his controversial “unpatriotic” activities or “disregard for the American flag,” people have started setting their Nike gear on fire in protest of him being hired as a Nike spokesperson.
Don’t Feel the Burn
I get it. Fire has awesome destructive properties. It represents anger and vengeance and it’s just plain badass! Who hasn’t at one time wanted to tap into their inner pyro? I admit I burned a picture of an ex-boyfriend after he dumped me in high school.
The problem is, more often than not, burning stuff is a bad idea. Generally it results in releasing toxic fumes into the environment. These include but are not limited to: sulfur dioxide, arsenic, mercury, lead, barium, chromium and carbon dioxide. Having your own private bonfire also means items are burned at a low temperature which results in incomplete combustion and gasses being emitted close to ground level where they do more harm.
There is also the possibility that this:
can sometimes turn into this.
So boycott Nike if you like. Protest with your consumer dollars by spending them on a different athletic brand. Write angry letters, walk a picket line, bitch about it all over Facebook if you don’t respect Nike’s choice, just step away from the matches.
And while were talking about protecting the environment, why not donate that Nike equipment, shirt, pair of shoes, to a child in need. Plenty of sporting goods stores have donation boxes for athletic shoes to keep them out of landfills. You don’t have to keep your Nikes but you can do good for someone else and the Earth in your act of protest.