Why the West Point and Air Force Academies should remove Nike’s Swoosh Logo from their Athletic Gear

September 5, 2018

When Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem two years ago, he intentionally showed contempt for our flag and the thousands of Americans whose coffins were draped by it, who died defending it. . . and, yes, defending Kaepernick’s constitutional right to express his disdain for our country.

On Monday, to commemorate Nike’s 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” campaign, Nike announced that one of the new faces of their ad campaign was none other than Kaepernick’s. Apparently, Kaepernick has been on Nike’s payroll since 2011, but he hasn’t appeared in ads for the past two years. Honoring Kaepernick as someone who “sacrificed everything” because of what he believed in is ridiculous and nothing more than a cynical business decision to make more money.

If Nike truly wanted to honor those who “believe in something” and “sacrifice everything” they need look no further than the grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Nike’s new marketing plan celebrates Kaepernick’s disrespect for our Nation, our flag and those serving in our Armed Forces. And as a result of Nike’s celebration of Kaepernick’s actions, so does the Nike swoosh logo.

So why should the West Point and Air Force academies advertise a private company on their athletic gear which prominently honors someone who shows contempt for our Flag and Country? Why should the men and women of these service academies, many of whom will one day be in harm’s way defending our Flag, and sadly, some whose coffins will be draped by it, be used as live advertisements for Nike’s crass and cynical political statement celebrating contempt for our Nation? 

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel