Colin Kaepernick Kneels to Protest Nike Sweatshop Labor

Posted on September 05, 2018

Colin Kaepernick has returned to the headlines.

In 2016, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback became known for opting not to stand during the national anthem.  He did this to protest the treatment of racial minorities in the United States.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said during an NFL media interview.  “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick's kneel started a movement, but also cost him a job in the NFL.  

This September Kaepernick gained a new employer: Nike.  But once again he chose to protest the hand that feeds him.

Nike has long been accused of using sweatshops to produce footwear and clothing items. Throughout the 1990s, Nike was criticized for selling goods produced in sweatshops. Nike originally denied such claims, but in 2001 Nike director Todd McKean stated that the attitude was, 'Hey, we don't own the factories. We don't control what goes on there.'"

Since then, Nike supposedly has been auditing its factories, but critics claim it is just a cover.

Colin Kaepernick, who now is under a multi-million dollar annual Nike contract, has thus decided to take a knee and protest the company’s “systematic capitalist abuses of child labor.”

“As a Nike employee myself,” said Kaepernick, "I can’t in my full integrity stay silent on this issue.  Nike’s oppression of children and workers mirrors the United State’s oppression of minorities.  I shall take a kneel until all Nike products are made in the USA by well-paid unionized employees.”

Nike has yet to respond to Kaepernick's stance, but inside sources have privately responded with “oh shit - what have we done?”

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