By ANDREW FRATTAROLI
Nike recently announced that Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback, would be the face of its new advertising campaign. This has blown up on social media and caused withdrawn support for the company due to his decision to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games.
Out of all the national news media coverage it has received, I chose to look at the article that CNN published, titled, “Nike’s support for Colin Kaepernick protest has some destroying their shoes” written by James Masters and Gianluca Mezzofiore. As CNN is a liberal news media outlet, I wanted to see if they could look at this issue objectively, as this has become a liberal vs conservative debate. They tried (sort of), but ultimately failed.
CNN decided to choose three clips of men from Twitter who did not give their opinion on the matter, but rather just showed video clips of them burning their gear. One of the videos was a high school student who was laughing and playing the national anthem in the background. At no point in this story, did the reporters get someone who fully describes their point of view towards the company, and on the matter as a whole.
If they had done further research, they would have found that people are not solely upset that Nike is affiliating themselves with a former athlete, who many believe disrespected the flag and the military by kneeling. What a lot of people are upset about, is the slogan. The slogan says, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
It is referring to the fact that Kaepernick is no longer an NFL quarterback due to his decision to kneel during the anthem. However, Kaepernick has had multiple job offers in other professional areas since 2016, and many believe that he has not been signed to a team because of his poor quarterback performance. He is currently suing many NFL owners, accusing them of conspiring to keep him off a professional roster.
Additionally, Kaepernick is set to make millions with his Nike deal, possibly more than he would have made in the NFL, which causes people to question the legitimacy of the ad campaign and his willingness to “sacrifice everything.”
CNN could have made its point more efficiently if it chose its content to show the ideas on the other side of the debate, rather than three videos of people who are a terrible generalization of the people who are offended by this move by Nike. CNN kept the information at the surface level and added additional tensions between the general public by not trying to understand and present both sides of the argument.
The liberal side has a very good reason for supporting Kaepernick as he highlights racial injustice in America; an issue that there is no hiding from and needs to be worked on by all Americans. However, by pointing fingers, and showing a poor depiction of the opposing argument, they throw away any possibility of a meaningful conversation between both the left and the right.