Controversial Nike ad inspires athletes


Giorgio Gayleard , Sports Editor

Nike revealed its new, controversial advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick on Sept. 3 with the slogan, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” This caused a stir, but my goal is not to debate that. The social injustice, the conflicting views on kneeling or standing for the anthem, the divide that Kaepernick has created is not what I would like focus on, although these issues are worth discussing. Instead, I want to bring attention to the true meaning behind Nike’s advertisement: inspiration.

The ad features a multitude of astonishing feats that have been deemed unachievable. It conveys that if your dream is viewed as unachievable, it’s a compliment. The ad includes groundbreaking athletes such as Serena Williams and LeBron James, magnifying their impacts beyond the sport, and their inspiration of a generation of driven athletes. The endorsement also showcases emotional testaments from paraplegic athletes, one-armed football players in the National Football League and a former refugee succeeding in Major League Soccer. The advertisement captivates the audience and encourages athletes to push towards their own dreams. Personally, it gave me a feeling of hopefulness, confidence and promise for the future. I would expect it to affect others similarly, as its production and style are truly enthralling.

Colin Kaepernick, who gave up football to make his voice heard and fulfill his dream of equality, iterates at the end of the ad: “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they’re crazy enough.” The advertisement’s goal is not to promote the conflict and controversy that shrouds Kaepernick’s name, but to inspire, impassion and motivate not only athletes, but humans to “dream crazy,” follow their dreams, and never give up. The advertisement appeals to all. It gives hope for the hopeless, motivates the undermotivated and ignites excitement in athletes across the world.