Hats off to Nike for the new Colin Kaepernick Ad and to Goeffrey Owens who was “job-shamed” this week.
For both of these men, I say the Nike Ad makes all the sense in the world and should give us something to think about.
Remember the saying “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything?”
Unfortunately, these days there are fewer and fewer examples of people who really believe and really stand for something.
Last month, we lost two of America’s heroes – Aretha Franklin and John McCain – Heroes because they stood for their beliefs. They did not hide from their responsibilities and they did not cower in the face of opposition.
So here is Colin Kaepernick. He is standing, or kneeling, for what he believes. He is making a statement. He never insulted anyone. Just knelt to make a statement. He didn’t rally everyone to do the same. If others wanted to, they did. If they didn’t want to, or were too scared to, or were paid not to, they didn’t. No matter…he was making his statement loud, clear and fearlessly. He has not played on an NFL team in two years. So yes, he sacrificed “everything”.
But whom should we emulate? Whom should we want our children to grow up to be?
We talk about Martin Luther King and others who paved the way, and yet now when someone stands up for us, we turn away and say “not me…let others fight this battle”
Did you see the number of people who marched with MLK? Who is marching with Colin?
Well, Nike decided to. And their stock price fell immediately. People posted videos on Social Media of burning Nike merchandise.
You are burning your $200 shoes on Facebook because Nike says you should actually believe in something and not just be a follower and mindless consumer?
Guess you just proved that you are. Because if you really thought about it, Nike is a corporation like any other and is making money off of you, the consumer, because you have to be like all the other “cool” folks around you wearing Nike stuff. I guess that bit didn’t offend you enough to not buy their stuff.
And don’t you worry about Nike. This was a calculated risk I am sure, and there is no doubt that they will come back from this. Already, the entire Nike family like Serena, LeBron and Kobe, are rooting for them and for Colin. So, go ahead and burn your shoes…you’ll be back at the store soon enough to buy another pair to replace them. Nike will be fine!
And then another “really smart person” decides to post a picture of Geoffrey Owens, who played Elvin in the Cosby Show, as he worked the register at Trader Joe’s.
Boy, do I have some unpleasant words to say about this person. But here’s another famous quote: “when they go low, we go high!”
Here again is another man who believes in something enough to sacrifice everything.
Unbeknownst to most people, that is what being an actor/artist entails. People are all too happy to watch TV and movies, to go to concerts, plays and shows, to read books, comics and magazines. But many haven’t the first idea how hard it is to create, promote and distribute these pieces of Art.
It is easy to look at the performers, ridicule them and criticize them but there is no thought of how much effort, finance and yes, sacrifice goes into their lives…because their art IS their life and their livelihood.
A true artist like Goeffrey Owens, a trained Shakespearean actor, is willing to sacrifice the security of a regular 9-5 lifestyle to be able to create, perform and share the beauty and blessing of his God-given talent. And there are so many more like him.
There is no support for the Arts! So we are forced to live in two worlds. And it is not easy.
Show some RESPECT!
And also in Aretha’s words…You better Think!!!
So, as I jump off my soap box, even though I am not a Nike shoe wearer myself, I have always loved the slogan ‘Just do it!’ and I absolutely LOVE and support this new campaign; for artists and entertainers, sportsmen and women, politicians and 9 – 5’ers, moms and dads, students and teachers, everywhere and everyone, even YOU!!! –
Believe in Something! Even if it means sacrificing everything!!
Just do it!!!