People are protesting others’ rights to peacefully protest


Editorial Board

“What was Nike thinking” President Trump tweeted on September 7 after Nike debuted their controversial Colin Kaepernick ad. Nike didn’t have to respond to the President’s rhetorical question, because the numbers did on its behalf.

According to, Nike’s online sales have jumped 31 percent in the last week, significantly higher than the 17 percent jump recorded during the same week in 2017.

So, what does that mean for all of the angry patriots taking to social media with their Nike apparel and a lighter? Frankly, it means nothing for the company.

Nike still has their money. Nike is still making money. But, please, protest peacefully as you will.

Isn’t that what this is all about, peaceful protest?

“Believe in something,” the ad reads. “Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Protestors might not be willing to sacrifice everything, but they don’t hesitate to sacrifice their socks and shoes.

Speaking of shoes, does anyone who is currently burning theirs consider the possibility of donating them?

According to a video on Kaepernick’s girlfriend’s Instagram, that’s exactly what he did in the 2017 offseason. The footage shows him delivering vans full of his own infamous sneaker collection to an organization in San Francisco, California that provides shoes and clothing to the homeless.

But a massive amount of people have chosen to ignore this. Choosing instead to boycott an entire brand and burn their apparel in front of a camera.

Much like the Starbucks boycott of 2017 — following the company’s pledge to hire more refugees — Twitter mentions of a Nike boycott have spiked following the ad.

But, like the Starbucks boycott, analysts predict that no matter how much people talk about it, ideas of a boycott will probably not end up having a significant impact on the company.

They flex their freedom of peaceful protest muscles, but they’re protesting others’ rights to peacefully protest.

We, at The Collegian, feel that anyone, regardless of their cause, should be able to peacefully protest however they choose.

We cannot condemn one group of people for exercising their rights, but not another.

Kaepernick started a revolution and used his platform. He’s done so much to raise awareness for injustices in the system and police brutality against African Americans. Nike took a risk by putting Kaepernick at the forefront of their newest ad, and it has paid off.

Nike Twitter mentions are up, despite some of them having negative connotation. People who are protesting are burning a product they’ve already paid for, so relatively no harm has come to Nike.

So, Mr. President, chances are Nike was thinking with a relatively clear and level-headed intention. The company backed a man who lost his career. A man who stood for something, which meant kneeling for another.

The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.