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Black Lives Matter Organizer: Nike Ad Is Good for Activism

The Associated Press
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

A Black Lives Matter organizer said in a Friday interview that he thinks the controversial Nike ad featuring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick is good for activism.

DeRay McKesson, an activist and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, told MSNBC Friday that it is important that Nike is using its platform as a company to stand behind Kaepernick and what he stands for.

McKesson said that by supporting Kaepernick, Nike is “amplifying” the very issues Black Lives Matter stands for:

I think it’s important that Nike is standing behind him in this moment. It’s important that we celebrate the people that sacrifice while the moment is still here and while the person is alive. And remember, Colin was saying basic things—Colin’s saying that racism is alive and present, and that it’s in the criminal justice system, in society, and in policing. So Nike putting their platform behind him as a person is automatically amplifying those issues.

McKesson also said that Kaepernick is not an “extremist” by using the athletic wear company as a platform for his anti-police views.

“Colin isn’t the extremist in this situation. Colin is using his platform to say there’s a problem,” McKesson said.

Many people criticized Nike over its latest ad campaign featuring Kaepernick because of how the company used someone who became famous in August 2016 for kneeling during the national anthem to promote a message about “sacrificing everything.”

A police officer’s widow and a Gold Star mother spoke out against the company this week for using Kaepernick in an ad campaign to belittle the meaning of the word “sacrifice.”

Fans began burning their Nike gear to protest the company’s support of Kaepernick, and actor James Woods even dumped his Nike stock to show his displeasure with the company’s ad campaign.

The backlash to the campaign featuring Kaepernick hit Nike right in their purse-strings when shares of Nike stock tumbled by three percent on Tuesday. President Trump even tweeted Wednesday that the company was getting “absolutely killed” because of the boycotts.

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