Colin Kaepernick‘s new Nike ad has gotten praise from countless people, but some individuals have responded to it with racism. The negative backlash has driven many to defend the athlete who has fought for social justice and an end to police brutality.
Most recently, a Louisiana teacher was disciplined after she wrote a racially charged message about Kaep’s ad on Facebook, The New Orleans Advocate reported. “They [Black people] don’t have to live in that country. They could go back,” Valerie Scogin, a teacher at Slidell High School in Slidell, posted on the social media platform last week. “But it was their own people selling them into slavery to begin with and tearing (sic) them even worse in those countries of origin. Want a better neighborhood? Move. You don’t have to choose to live in those zip codes. Want to not be stereotyped, tell people of that color to quit acting like animals and perpetuating the stereotype.”
The school, which is attended by dozens of students of color, punished Scogin for the comments, officials said. She apologized for the words, but the damage had already been done. “Imagine comparing people of color to animals, then when you get caught you try to say you didn’t think it would hurt anyone,” Skylar Broussard, a Slidell High alum, said.
Mayor Ben Zahn of Kenner, Louisiana, allegedly banned Nike products from being delivered or purchased at recreation centers in response to Kaep’s ad last week. A city memo showed that the mayor signed the ban after Nike’s 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” ad with Kaepernick was made public.
People have already taken a stand against the news in Louisiana.
Jeannine James, mayor in La Plata, Maryland, also supported a proposed boycott against Nike over Kaep’s ad. “Nike selected Colin Kaepernick as the new face of the company’s ‘Just Do It’ campaign. How disappointing. #BoycottNike,” James posted on social media before backlash came pouring in against her words. The College of Southern Maryland, where James teaches a course, also denounced her comments.
Kaepernick is still shining despite the backlash, expressing his pride over Nike choosing him for the special campaign.