Nike made a controversial move yesterday when they announced embattled NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to be the face of their 30th anniversary campaign.
The basis of the campaign? "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."
Kaepernick, of course, has been at the center of the controversy surrounding the NFL. It was he who began kneeling during the national anthem as a form of silent protest against inequality and police brutality in 2016. He has not been in the league in two years, and is currently preparing a collusion lawsuit against NFL owners, who he believes blacklisted him from the league over his stance.
Needless to say, Nike's choice of Kaepernick for their campaign has been widely discussed, with supporters lauding Nike making such a bold statement and opposition launching a boycott against the brand. Some have even taken to burning their Nike products in protest of the announcement. (BTW, don't burn sneakers - they're expensive!! Donate them to a homeless shelter or another charity that can re-purpose them to someone who needs shoes!!)
The chasm between those in support of the Nike deal and those opposed to it is evident especially right here in Nashville, a city that's become a sort of political melting pot of both conservative and liberal values. And Nashville's diverse musical community is making its opinions known on each side of the debate.
While our BFF Kelly Clarkson didn't directly give her opinion, she DID applaud Nike for standing up in their own belief and making a statement about it. She'd also like to remind everyone that 16 years ago today she won the very first American Idol
Two thank you’s today....— Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) September 4, 2018
1. Thank you @Nike for simply backing what you believe in. One of the best parts about this country is the freedom we have to express ourselves.
2. 16 years ago today the people of America changed my life and I will be forever grateful & appreciative 🙏
John Rich, on the other hand, from country duo Big & Rich, is not as supportive of Nike's decision, nor is his sound engineer (a former marine)
I support every American's right to protest whatever they want. However, if you endorse someone who wears #PIGSOCKS that's where you lose me. If @nike wants their "swoosh" to be associated with calling our police "Pigs" then so be it. I have a right to not buy their products.— John Rich (@johnrich) September 4, 2018
No matter which side you're on, this is certain to be a debate that grabs a lot of attention over the next few weeks.