A Meme on the Nike/Kaepernick protest

Colin Kaepernick Nike ad

The Nike Ad, which has become a meme. I have great respect for Kaepernick, none for Nike.

Someone reminded me of what it means to stand up against evil (or in Colin’s case, kneel down). If you’ve managed to avoid all this, NFL star Colin Kaepernick started ‘taking a knee’ during the National Anthem in order to call attention to the young men and women of color being killed by police under questionable circumstances (said police virtually never going to prison for murder. Donald Trump has made this into an issue of patriotism and military support (an odd position for someone like Trump who belongs in the list of ‘War Wimps‘ compiled a few decades ago to push). 

Anyway, Nike (which has had a contract w/Kaepernick as a representative) decided to make his presence MORE visible–more air time, more support. This has kicked off protests against Nike by supporters of the Trumpian view that the ‘take a knee’ protest was anti-military. 

Nike has made a pure business decision–their market cap is somewhere around $127 BILLION dollars and the boycotters and anti-boycotters will balance out while netting themselves lots of friendly media. And again, this is a business decision made by a company with horrendous labor practices in the developing world. But now the swish is being used to push the idea that protest is the same as participation in a consumerist society. Which brings me to mention that culture jammers have grabbed the Nike swirl to push forward all sorts of funny memes. You can look up all the funny stuff here.

But this I like. Somebody did something special with the meme. I’ve written before about Daniel and Phil Berrigan, who stood up to imperial power. And Dan especially always seemed to do so with a smile on his face. So–this. 

berrigan just do it

We’re in a time when heroes are needed. I don’t know if Colin knew this simple step would carry him through such notoriety and loss of career. 

Here’s to the heroes.





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