Sports Commentary: Nike Colin Kaepernick ad
“Just do it.”
Just do what?
Break your bones trying to get it right? Wrestle without legs? Be a homecoming queen and a football linebacker? Beat a brain tumor, lose 120 pounds and become an Iron Man? Play soccer for the national team at 16 years old after being born a refuge?
Stand up, open a school and speak after being told to shut up and dribble? Be a girl from Compton … and the greatest athlete ever?
“Yeah, that’s more like it.”
It’s not about taking a knee during the anthem. It’s not about whether or not you think kneeling is disrespectful. It’s not about drawing attention to the oppression of people of color and minorities in the country. It’s not about the fact that peaceful protest is every citizen’s right.
It’s not about Colin Kaepernick.
It’s about a boy running down a dirt road. A young woman wearing a hijab and shadowboxing. A girl dribbling two basketballs in a wheelchair. A team who went public in a fight for equal pay. A Hawaiian big wave surfer. A short-haired female skateboarder. A pro football player with one hand.
It’s about athletes being bigger than sports. They’re role models and pillars of communities, helping hands and guiding lights. They’re inspirations and reminders that no matter what obstacles or challenges stand before you, you can overcome them.
“So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough.”
It’s not supposed to be about conservatives or liberals or politics in general. Unfortunately for the youth of today, politics can’t seem to stay out of anything, even sports apparel. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that while stocks dipped initially as people filmed themselves burning new Nike products (even while wearing them, which just, what?), shares have since recovered.
Because this ad is real. It delves into the population of the entire country and unearths a story in each face we see. And for most people, at least one of those stories will resonate.
It will remind people that their dream is crazy until they do it, so, “Just do it.”