Colin Kaepernick is a hero who protested racial injustice, and in doing so sacrificed his NFL career.
And though the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has now gained a reprieve of sorts after Nike selected him for its new advertising campaign, Kaepernick’s reappearance on the national stage has spurred a new round of animus.
Some white conservatives and their allies are burning their Nike paraphernalia. Others are cutting Nike logos from their clothes.
They are doing so, they say, because Nike has embraced a man whose protest disrespected America’s military and its flag. It is a view shared by President Trump, who called players who copied Kaepernick’s protest “sons of bitches” who should be fired.
But in my view there is a much simpler explanation for the anger now being targeted at Nike: Kaepernick spoke up against the systematic racial oppression that is present in American policing, and Kaepernick’s protest brought about change.
On Tuesday in Philadelphia, that change was evident.
Ryan Pownall, a white former police officer, was charged in the shooting death of David Jones, a black man who was shot in the back while fleeing a stop in 2017.
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Photo by Mike Morbeck/ Flickr Creative Commons