Recently, Nike announced that it would use Colin Kaepernick as the face of the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. Nike is free to use whomever they wish to use to promote their products, but I am just as free not to use their products if I so choose. I am not going to be burning any that I already own, but I definitely will not be buying any new Nike products. The reason being is that Kaepernick has disrespected our nation, military, and first responders by kneeling during the national anthem when he was actually still on an NFL roster. He also wore socks depicting law enforcement officers as pigs, not to mention the fact that he has been complimentary of Fidel Castro. He too is free to express himself as he chooses but I do not have to agree with him or support any company that would embrace his message.
Following this announcement Dr. Emir Caner, President of Truett McConnell University chose to make a statement about this decision and is severing any future ties with Nike in the school bookstore or for athletic apparel. To be clear the school had already signed an athletic contract with Adidas but still has some Nike uniforms for sports that will now be phased out at a much more accelerated pace. I support Dr. Caner’s decision and his willingness to take the heat publicly for doing so. Leadership can be an uncomfortable place to be.
In following the argument of some who support Kaepernick’s expression, I have essentially been told that I am “privileged” and would not understand. I am astute enough to know that they left out a word that was also implied in their statement as I am “white privileged.” At first, I was a bit angered by their faulty and narrow assessment of me, however, after consideration I realized that I am privileged but not in the way that they think.
I am privileged because I was born in a Christian home regardless of my skin color. I am privileged because I was raised in a two-parent home. I am privileged because my parents took me to church with them. I am privileged because my parents had a strong work ethic. I am privileged because my parents loved one another and loved me. You see those were advantages that I had and regardless of my skin color they gave me values that others might not have because they were not as privileged.
I have learned that my country owes me nothing! I have learned that by the grace of God I was born in the greatest country in the world. I have learned that if you show up, work hard, and give your best you can achieve things in this country that other countries don’t offer (otherwise, why would so many be trying to get here in the first place?). I have learned to respect those in authority because God’s Word tells me to and because my parents modeled it for me.
Yes, I am proud to say that I am privileged, but I realize that in Christ we all have the same opportunity, regardless of our upbringing. All can have forgiveness, all can have eternal life, and all can have a respect for the order that God has given us in this great nation known as The United States of America! Let’s do all we can to help others see the privileges they can have for free through Christ.