While the United States faces social and economic problems galore, some interests continue to make peaceful protests a major point of contention. Nike has faced backlash for including one prominent peaceful protester — Colin Kaepernick — in their ad campaign marking the company’s 30th anniversary, but now, they’ve earned the support of the National Black Police Association (NBPA). This week, that organization’s National Chairperson Sonia Pruitt penned a letter in the company’s favor.
Her letter comes after the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) already composed their own letter, calling on police and their allies to boycott Nike over their Kaepernick ads. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has criticized the actions of police, yes, but to paint him as simply blindly anti-authority misses the point, Pruitt noted.
‘The NBPA believes that Mr. Kaepernick’s stance is in direct alignment with what law enforcement stands for — the protection of a people, their human rights, their dignity, their safety, and their rights as American citizens.’
Kaepernick originally rose to prominence for reasons other than his football playing abilities when he took a knee during the pre-game performance of the national anthem during the 2016-2017 NFL season. He and those who have taken on the protest measure in his wake have explained their actions as meant to draw attention to the plight of black Americans, who at times like clockwork it seems, face lethal threats from police. Just recently, a former Texas cop was convicted of murder for shooting a black teenager to death with no legitimate provocation whatsoever.
Those issues are serious and very real — just ask the families of the dead. The National Association of Police Organizations, though, joined the chorus of those painting Kaepernick as a menace to society with their recent letter, and Pruitt called them out.
‘NAPO has shown an adeptness at maintaining the police status quo… That NAPO has chosen this matter to take a stance, only perpetuates the narrative that police are racist, with no regard, acknowledgment, respect, or understanding of the issues and concerns of the African American community.’
As long as police keep putting that worst foot forward, protests like Kaepernick’s will continue — and in the meantime, Pruitt wants to make it clear that her organization stands behind the efforts. She quipped that they “will likely be buying and wearing lots of Nike products in the near future.”
That stance starkly contrasts with the many who have taken to social media to document their destruction of their own Nike products. They’re so unable to deal with a major company tying a marketing campaign into real world issues that they’ve rushed into their closets — or wherever they keep their stuff — and ripped up their clothes and/or lit them on fire.
President Donald Trump himself didn’t post a video of him burning a pair of shoes, but he did tweet a jab at Nike, claiming that the company is getting “killed” with backlash.
In reality, they’re pressing on with their campaign, and a video ad featuring Kaepernick is set to air during the Thursday night 2018-2019 NFL season opener.
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