In recent days, Nike has been the center of a major political controversy. Since the billion-dollar company launched a “Just Do It” campaign ad featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, consumers have participated in a boycott by burning their Nike gear.
The ex-NFL star first rose to national fame in 2016 after starting the “Take a Knee” protests against racial injustice and police brutality. Even though many Americans agreed with his positive message, they felt that his platform — kneeling on the field during the national anthem — greatly disrespected our flag, country, and military heroes.
Franklin Graham, an outspoken Christian and conservative voice, responded to Nike’s decision to openly support Kaepernick on Wednesday. Graham punched a huge hole in the advertisement, which showcased Kaepernick as a role model who “believed in something” and “sacrificed everything.”
From Graham’s point of view, which aligns with much of the American people, Kaepernick does not fit these qualities. Given the fact that Kaepernick was offered a multi-year contract from Nike and is still making millions, his “sacrifice” of giving up life as a star quarterback is practically irrelevant.
“An early image from the campaign shows a photo of Kaepernick with text that says, ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.’ Starting a movement disrespecting the American flag and the national anthem is not ‘sacrificing everything,’” Graham said boldly. “And it’s hard to call a multi-year contract from Nike a sacrifice.”
“Racial injustice is never acceptable, and all Americans need to work against it on all levels,” he clarified. “But I think there are much better ways to bring about change than seemingly disrespecting the flag or the anthem that represents the very freedoms that have made this nation the best on earth.”
According to Graham, the true and “ultimate” sacrifice comes from our military personnel who “make our freedoms possible.” These are the people that should be recognized for “believing in something” and “sacrificing everything.”
“It’s like a kick in the gut to all those who have served under that flag, some making the ultimate sacrifice, to make our freedoms possible,” Graham ended.
Read Graham’s full response below:
Later, Graham doubled down on his remarks against Nike and Kaepernick. In a heart-wrenching Facebook post, he shared a story about what "true sacrifice" really is.
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