Nike has faced many criticisms since they announced former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, as the face of their “Just Do It” campaign, but few criticisms can compare with the blistering remarks from the National Police Union.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Before he was the face of Nike, Kaepernick was the face of the NFL’s national anthem protests. Kaepernick was the first player to take a knee during the anthem, but many players followed.
The protests started as a way for players to draw attention to police brutality in the United States, but Kaepernick quickly made it clear that he wasn’t just against brutality. The quarterback wore socks depicting cops as pigs.
“Mr. Kaepernick is known, not as a successful athlete, but as a shallow dilettante seeking to gain notoriety by disrespecting the flag for which so many Americans have fought and died,” McHale wrote.
McHale started by fighting back against Kaepernick’s assertions of brutality by police, saying that Nike’s new campaign “perpetuates the falsehood that police are racist and aiming to use force against African Americans and persons of color.”
The union president reminded Parker that officers not only protect the athletes in their ad campaigns, but every person in the United States. McHale also highlighted the work done by police for non-profits like Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Although McHale was representing the police union, he took a moment to describe the what the campaign means to Americans who actually “sacrifice everything.”
Adding to the insult is the image of Mr. Kaepernick from the campaign featuring the quote ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.’ The fact that Mr. Kaepernick is no longer a starting NFL player does not equate to him being someone who has ‘sacrificed everything’. To truly understand what it means to ‘believe in something’ and ‘sacrifice everything’, you should look to Arlington National Cemetery, or to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, D.C., or to the trauma unit of a military hospital. The brave men and women of every race and color buried there, memorialized there, healing there, believed in this nation and our flag and exemplify the true meaning of ‘sacrifice.’
McHale called for a full boycott of Nike’s products, adding, “In featuring Mr. Kaepernick in the ‘Just Do It’ campaign, Nike grossly insults the men and women who really do make sacrifices for the sake of our nation.”