Nike & the Colin Kaepernick Debacle: Here's an Opinion From the Middle by Keith Sereduck

Nike & the Colin Kaepernick Debacle: Here's an Opinion From the Middle

This latest controversy splitting the nation is not about politics. Also, it’s not about hate. What started as an argument about kneeling and perceived police misconduct and American injustice has now morphed into shoe burning – all so Nike could remind people that they exist.

Here’s how I see the former: There's a time and place to stand up for what you believe in, or what you perceive is wrong. If you're protesting the police or government, you should probably protest at police or government facilities. That'd be the quickest way to get your message to the people you want to hear it. Celebrities and athletes carry much influence, but most of them aren't always the best example to base your life on, or to let your kids base theirs.

Regarding athletes, specifically, I could care less what they say on their own time (see also actors and musicians). At work, it's a different story. Almost no job will allow you to engage in politically motivated statements or protests while you're working. I know that I, personally, would be fired on the spot. Why should it be different for an athlete protesting at work?

The sad thing is, a very powerful message that was probably overdue, has now been lost on half of the country because it's been played out at football games instead of where it should have been: interviews, press conferences, police stations, Congress, etc. People watch football to root for their favorite teams or players, to escape, to dream about what could have been, to relive past glory, to spend time with their friends or family – heck, to pig out. What they don't expect is a message.

Speaking of messages, burning things you already own is beyond ridiculous. Donate, donate, donate. I get it, you're mad at Nike. But, much like the kneeling protest, it’s misguided – and a little dangerous. Don't follow what you think is a bad example with a worse example. Every moment is a teaching moment. Think. Be better. Create change productively.

But that's just my take, I could be wrong.

What do you think?

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Rick St. Peter
Good stuff Keith. I agree with almost none of it but I get your reasoning behind it.
Mike Prochaska
I have protested at work. I protested for equality at the workplace and I didn’t get fired. And I agree with Rick St. Peter but it awesome to read your views
Keith Sereduck
I totally hear you but protesting your own job is a little different than protesting something else at your job. I work for a top 10, fortune 500 company and, trust me when I say that it, how do they say, would go over like a fart in church lol. Thanks for reading, Mike Prochaska and Rick St. Peter
Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Thank you for sharing your views, Keith Sereduck . I always appreciate it when a writer can see both sides. I try to do the same and avoid judgement.
Ann Marie Patitucci
Thanks so much for sharing your views with us, @TheRealKeith. I have thought about your perspective, and I wonder: If Kaepernick's goal was/is to reach as many people as possible with his message, could he have achieved it by speaking at interviews, press conferences, police stations, Congress etc.? Would anyone have even been interested in interviewing him on the topic if he hadn't done the silent protest the way he had in the first place? Would he have had access to Congress? Rick St. Peter Mike Prochaska Stacey Roberts Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Keith Sereduck
Hard to say, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead because we'll never know. In a way, I don't think it was ever a "silent protest." Immediately after it happened, he stated that, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." He didnt say it was the police, or the courts. He said it was the country, which includes me and you. I know I never oppressed anyone, but that's just semantics. His message was doomed from the get go because it was never expressed clearly. People argue it's not about the flag but the proof was stated on Friday, August 26th, 2016. He would later wear socks mocking the police. Silent, yes, but only in a text book passive/aggressive manner. So, long story short, it may have have taken longer the other way but, asumming he had people helping him deliver his message (again, a much overdue message) in a way that wouldn't be distorted by taking it to a crowd at the wrong time in the wrong way, a way that would further divide people. We need people who strive to bring us together, not push us further apart. I guarantee that most Americans want things to be better. I just don't think they want to be blamed for it first. Naive, but true, I think. I just hope that the damage hasn't become irreparable.
Ann Marie Patitucci
I don't think his goal was ever to divide people but rather to highlight a serious injustice. The fact that we've become divided says more about us than it does him, i.e. many people are more bothered by his protest and the Nike ad than they are by systemic racism. I'm also concerned about labeling protests as "wrong" (wrong time, wrong place, wrong way). I don't think that's for us to decide because it's everyone's right to protest, and it's everyone's right to decide where/when/how they do it. I think Rick St. Peter puts it well here: dad: I'm Behind Colin Kaepernick (If Only Those Patriots Had Picked a Better Time to Protest!)
Ann Marie Patitucci
I'd just like to add that I love that we're having these kinds of discussions here! Keep writing thoughtful posts on hot topics, everyone, and let's keep discussing them here, respectfully and kindly!
Keith Sereduck
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead I definitely don't think that was his goal, I just think it was an accidental affect of his actions: cause and effect. You you're totally right about it saying more about us, though. Had more people asked the questions, they might have gotten answers that could have eased their anger. But, like I've said, I see both sides and while the initial intent was justified, both sides carried out their plans inherently wrong and with little thought of what their actions would or could lead to. Finally, yes! Respectfully and kindly is the way to go! A thousand times, yes!
Tom Templeton
I read something the other day that struck me — “Racism is so American that when you protest it people think you’re protesting America.” Glib or not, it made me think about all that has been said about Kap and others whose hearts are surely in the right place.
Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
This gives me a lump in my throat, Tom Templeton . I guess I'm more sad than anything. Hard to put the way I feel into words. I appreciate all of you having this respectful discussion. It's really much needed. Keith Sereduck Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead Rick St. Peter Mike Prochaska Renee Herren Stacey Roberts
Ann Marie Patitucci
Tom Templeton : Wow. That really resonates. Thanks for sharing. This is a challenging moment but an important one.
Ann Marie Patitucci
I have been showing this TED Talk, "The Power of Privilege," to my college students. I think it's very relevant to many of the discussions we're having right now, here, on social media, and on a national level.
Rick St. Peter
Race is America’s original sin.

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