This week, Nike announced that football player Colin Kaepernick would be the face of the thirtieth anniversary of their iconic “Just Do It” ad campaign. Kaepernick has become well-known (and despised by some) for his policy of kneeling rather than standing during the singing of the national anthem before games. He does it as an acknowledgment that police brutality against people of color in this country has reached out-of-control proportions. But he makes a point of taking a knee, rather than just sitting, as a sign of respect for the veterans who’ve fought for our flag and for our right as Americans to peacefully protest. However, in response to the Nike endorsement, his opponents are destroying any Nike stuff they own and vowing never to spend money with Nike again.
In a thought-provoking Twitter thread, a woman named Annie Reneau explained the circumstances that have led us to this point, showing, in the process, just how unreasonable right-wing Americans have become over what is, essentially, a difference of opinion.
Reneau recounted the events that led from one man kneeling during the anthem to Republicans destroying their own property out of hate for that that man’s freedom to express himself.
Reneau also explained how Kaepernick took the advice of another football player, Nate Boyer (who was a veteran) when deciding exactly how to enact his silent protest.
Colin Kaepernick made a point of wanting to express his feelings while still being respectful to this country’s military.
Boyer explained the significance of taking a knee, and Kaepernick adopted that as his form of protest, thereby still showing his utmost respect to the soldiers who’ve fought for the United States and for the freedom this country offers.
Reneau pointed out all the times we, as Americans, kneel—for prayer, for proposals, for unity.
Reneau emphasized that Kaepernick never did anything disrespectful towards the flag. He was trying to show his disdain for violent cops in the most deferential way he possibly could, while still making a very important point.
To say that taking a knee during the national anthem is an abuse of our rights as Americans is to purposely misunderstand the point of protest that this country allows us.
Reneau ended her thread by thanking both Nate Boyer and Colin Kaepernick for working together to bring about one of the most meaningful signs of protest this country’s seen in ages.
Kap, as he’s sometimes known, also explained the police pig socks he wore before he started taking a knee during the anthem. He made sure to be clear that it’s not a sign of disrespect to all cops, but rather to those who abuse their positions of power to harm others. In an Instagram he posted two years ago, Kap explains that he’s got family and friends who are police officers and whom he trusts are doing their best to serve all people.