SACRAMENTO — A Nike Ad campaign highlighting Colin Kaepernick is sparking a strong reaction from people across the country.
Some are destroying their Nike gear to protest the company’s decision to use the former San Francisco 49er as the face of their campaign.
The Turlock Native has sparked controversy since 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans.
Local volunteers say there’s a more ‘constructive’ way to protest than destroying your Nike gear.
Organizations that help the homeless are urging you not to destroy your Nike gear.
Instead, they say donate it.
Volunteers respect your right to protest but want to remind you that there are many people out there who desperately need these clothes and shoes.
“We give them a hot breakfast and we get them some hygiene products and outdoor survival gear because we are living in a town that is thousands of beds short on shelter,” said Kimberley Church, Sacramento Safe Space. “We’ve got clothing, survival gear, tents, sleeping bags and tarps.”
Church is gathering what she can to help the homeless in Sacramento.
It’s why she was shocked to see videos circulating on social media— showing people destroying Nike brand clothing.
“We shouldn’t be wasting items that might mean the difference between life and death for some of our unhoused community members,” said Church.
The videos come in protest.
“Sorry Nike, I’ve been buying you the past 20 years. Not anymore,” said someone in a video protesting Nike over its new ad campaign highlighting Colin Kaepernick.
“I think it was disrespectful to the national anthem,” expressed Christy Jamison.
Erica Elesthe, on the other hand, said Kaepernick “needed to take a stand on something that he really felt deeply about.”
But Church wants you to put this divisive issue aside and instead look at this as a chance to help people who need it most.
“I just want to reframe it as a humanitarian opportunity, as opposed to a destructive moment,” said Church.
Church is calling on anyone who wants to ditch their Nike gear, not to destroy it; instead donate it to Safe Space or other organizations across Sacramento that help the homeless.
“It helps them survive. Because when you live outdoors that’s ultimately the primary thing that you have to worry about. How am I going to get from today to tomorrow? We have people every week that come in shoeless. There is no reason for people to not help people who are in greater need than themselves,” stated Church.