People are using #NikeBoycott to destroy their Nike apparel as a move against Colin Kaepernick.

sclancy79/Twitter Remix by Samantha Grasso

Conservatives are burning their expensive Nikes to own the libs over Colin Kaepernick

In return, the libs are making fun of them with memes.


Samantha Grasso

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 4, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 7:21 am CDT

Conservatives and NFL fans who abhor Colin Kaepernick and his peaceful protests are destroying their Nike apparel after the company announced that the NFL player would be a face of its Just Do It campaign. In other words, they’re burning their beloved sneakers to own the libs.

On Monday, Kaepernick tweeted an image of himself with the phrase “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” as one of the faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick, an NFL free agent who previously played for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling for the national anthem against police brutality in 2016. Kaepernick is currently suing NFL owners for allegedly working together to keep him from playing.

“We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN. “We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes.”

Across Twitter, conservatives are sharing videos of themselves dousing their favorite pair of Nikes with gasoline and lighting the swooshes on fire, rattling off a soliloquy of support for the company’s competitors in the background as their sneakers, and lawns, burn to the ground.

“Hell, I might go buy some Adidas. Hmm, you know how many other sneakers there are to buy? To choose from?” one Twitter user, Sean Clancy, hypothetically asks as he watches his shoes shrink in the fire.

Another Twitter user throws five pairs of sneakers into a fire pit to the tune of the national anthem playing in the background, all because Kaepernick is the “face of Nike” and “doesn’t share the views of the people.”

Others are destroying their Nike merchandise by other means or, at the very least, promising to stop purchasing from the brand in their tweets to the company.

Despite the hashtag #NikeBoycott being centered around those who have either destroyed their Nike apparel or are threatening to take their business elsewhere, much of the conversation within the hashtag is coming from supporters of the brand’s move to work with Kaepernick. Some have asserted that the backlash around Nike’s partnership signals why Kaepernick felt the need to kneel during the national anthem in the first place—to assert that police brutality against Black people must stop and matter to white fans who only seem to value their team or the brands they patron, and not the Black athletes behind them.

Others have suggested that if people burning their Nike merchandise really cared about supporting veterans and felt that Kaepernick’s protests, and Nike’s partnership by extension, insulted veterans and the military, then they would have donated their goods to a charity that supports veterans, instead of making an ashen gesture.

A majority, however, appear to be getting their kicks out of the spectacle, responding to the boycotters’ seemingly extreme resorts with tweets parodying the online outrage. No, they’re not actually destroying their Nikes, but they’re pretty good at making fun of the people who are.

One man appeared to set his shoes on fire while burning them, though the tweets are most definitely fake, making fun of those who have.

Much to the disappointment of Nike’s boycotters, no sneakers were “droned striked” in the making of this next tweet.

Hey, at least there’s always New Balance, the Neo-Nazi’s “Official Shoes of White People,” right? Right…?

Share this article
*First Published: Sep 4, 2018, 9:48 am CDT