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Photo Credit: Nike
Photo Credit: Nike

“Don’t Do It”: Nike ad condemns racism in America

As protests against social injustice take place across the U.S., Nike encourages everyone to be a part of the change. 

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Known for its infamous slogan, “Just Do It,” the footwear apparel giant Nike has done a 180 with its messaging in its newest ad on Friday evening that targets racism in the United States. 

The ad titled “For Once, Don’t Do It,” comes in the midst of protests taking place across the U.S., after white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, murdered George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man, by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes, on May 25. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on May 29. 

The text reads:

“For once, Don’t Do It.

Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. 

Don’t turn your back on racism.

Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us. 

Don’t make any more excuses. 

Don’t think this doesn’t affect you.

Don’t sit back and be silent. 

Don’t think you can’t be part of the change.

Let’s all be part of the change.”

The ad encourages American society to address the issues of racism and social injustice head-on and no longer turn a blind eye to it. 

The tweet accompanying the ad features the hashtag #UntilWeAllWin, which Nike has used with its "The Common Thread Series," a collaborative partnership with Uninterrupted that highlights the stories of diverse athletes creating their legacy through sports.

"We hope that by sharing this film we can serve as a catalyst to inspire action against a deep issue in our society and encourage people to help shape a better future," a Nike spokesperson said in a statement.

This is just the latest instance of Nike taking a stance against social issues. 

In September 2018, Nike released an ad for its 30th anniversary campaign, with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, encouraging people to, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Kaepernick hasn’t appeared on an NFL roster since 2016, due in large part to his decision to peacefully protest police brutality and social injustice.

The death of not only George Floyd, but also Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, and so many other African American men and women highlight the reality of being black in America.

More glaringly, it highlights how the reality of today isn’t too far off from the reality of the Civil Rights era, Jim Crow and many decades prior. The prevalence of racism that has plagued the nation throughout its entire history continues to rear its head, as shown by the continuous senseless murders of black people across the country.

With its messaging, Nike is urging everyone to address this issue, no longer pretend it’s simply a thing of the past and take action towards creating real, true, and tangible change that will last generations. 

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