The alliance between Nike and Colin Kaepernick, former pro athlete and full-time social justice advocate, appears to be a corporate action made with the legitimate intent to do what is just without regard to the bottom line, writes Len Elmore, Senior Lecturer for the Master of Science in Sports Management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.
One reason for this, writes Elmore in an editorial for the New York Daily News, “are voices of support out there that the kneeling NFL player-activists could have never dreamed of at this time last year. Those voices range from the known array of organized and committed groups like Black Lives Matter to people like Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and the rest of the burgeoning progressive political movement.”
Elmore predicts the alliance between Nike and Kaepernick will be viewed “as genuine in the hearts and minds of America” because Nike’s market consists overwhelmingly of young people amenable to social change. In the end, Elmore believes that Nike will thrive through the alliance, and that Nike’s new sponsorship partner, the NFL, will ultimately acquiesce in some form.