On Monday, Nike announced Colin Kaepernick would be the new face of their 30th anniversary of the “Just do it” campaign. Some cheered, some angered, and some ripped up the Nike gear they already purchased. National police organizations disagreed on whether or not police should support the right of American’s to peacefully protest.
The day after the announcement, the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), an umbrella group for police unions, released a newsletter calling for members, along with friends and family, to protest Nike because of their support for someone who peacefully protested police brutality and racial injustice.
Fox Carolina reported NAPO sent a letter to the CEO of Nike, Mark Parker, condemning their decision and the ad campaign, which features an image of Kaepernick and says, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
According to NAPO, the message is insulting and the campaign disrespects those who “really do make sacrifices” for the U.S.
On Wednesday, the National Black Police Association responded by releasing an open letter to Nike CEO. They condemned NAPO’s response and supported Nike’s decision of Kaepernick for the new ad campaign.
National Black Police Association National Chair Sonia Pruitt wrote in the letter that Kaepernick’s stance is consistent with their own values, reported The Intercept.
The letter begins, “It is with great dismay that we were made aware of a letter that you received from the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) regarding the use of Colin Kaepernick in your ‘Just Do It’ advertising campaign. The National Black Police Asociation (NBPA) is not in agreement on this matter and we strongly condemn the call for police officers and their families to boycott Nike and its products.”
Pruitt continued, “NAPO believes that Mr. Kaepernick’s choice to openly protest issues surging police brutality, racism and social injustices in this country makes him anti-police. On the contrary, the NBPA believes that Mr. Kaepernick’s stance is in direct alignment with what law enforcement stands for—the protection of a people, their human rights, their dignity, their safety, and their rights as American citizens.”
The letter also noted, “For NAPO to presuppose that Mr. Kaepernick has not made sacrifices because he did not die on a battlefield, shows you just how out of touch NAPO is with the African American community.”
This letter shows that many police officer support Kaepernick and they do not believe he is simply anti-police or anti-military as NAPO wants to deceive people into believing.