Despite Nike’s recent progressive ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, progressives should be wary of supporting the company.
A recent report from the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to tracking money in politics, found that in 2018 Nike employees and its PAC donated $424,000 to the Republican party and its candidates compared to only $122,000 for the Democratic party and its candidates.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!” Trump said at a 2017 rally.
He, along with many other members of the Republican party, have spent the last two years criticizing Kaepernick and other kneeling players incessantly.
Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, donated $1.5 million to Knute Buehler, the Republican candidate in the Oregon gubernatorial race.
It’s clear that Nike is a company that firmly supports the Republican party, so why did they throw their lot in with Kaepernick?
For the money of course.
As of Sunday, Nike stock has risen over 6 points since the Sept. 4 announcement of the Kaepernick ad. The campaign has allowed the company to add nearly $6 billion to its market value.
It’s clear that Nike made a measured choice with the Kaepernick campaign that paid off. It garnered them good will with progressives, and a hefty chunk of change in its pockets.
But this recent data shows Nike’s true colors: GOP red.
Progressives take heed, any dollar you spend on Nike products might end up in the pockets of the party of Trump.
Q Russell is a senior journalism major from Charlotte, North Carolina. You can follow him on Twitter at @Q_M_Russell