NikeNike’s Relationship with Kaepernick

J Jul 02, 2019

Dear Nike,

You have lost a lifelong customer and the entire family of that customer from all future purchases of all Nike products. I began my sports career in 1978. I have worn Nike shoes my entire life. I ran track and cross-country in college on a scholarship and only wore Nike Pegasus shoes for training. My children are garments predominately in Nike clothing for their sports. All of that ends today.

I tried to ignore the fact that you sided with somebody who I considered derelict. I was not upset because of the idea of kneeling during the national anthem. I was upset because he was there to do a job and his place of employment is not the place to protest. None of the rest of us show up at work and get to not do what we're asked to do in a form of protest without losing our jobs. Therefore, if he was not picked up by other teams that is the product of his actions. Despite the fact that I was very disturbed by your willingness to pick up Colin Kaepernick's political cause I did not out right ban your products from my home.

Today, however, I woke up to discover that you will turn to Colin Kaepernick to decide which history of the United States is valid and appropriate for use in your products. The idea that a mediocre football player who chooses the wrong forum to protest something unrelated to the flag is now the gatekeeper for what appropriate historical events can be supported by Nike is pathetic. Do we have to erase all of our history prior to 1865 if he says so? Do we have to raise all of our history prior to the civil rights acts of the 1960s?

I hope you fail as a company. I hope you go bankrupt. What is amazing about the fact that I make those statements to you, is that until this incident you were my favorite company in the world. I did my senior thesis on the history of your company, its beginning, and it's marketing strategy that put it on top. Now, I am embarrassed for you and embarrassed to wear your products. I estimate the total loss will be nothing for you. We probably spend a few thousand dollars a year in our household on Nike products. You won't notice we are gone. Hopefully, my home is just the start and that many more people like me will turn away from you.

I'm sure you and Colin will have a bright future together.

Jim Hewitt

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