Following the Monday launch of Nike’s 2018 "Just Do It" campaign starring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, consumers across the country began destroying their Nike-brand shoes and apparel over Kaepernick's 2016 protests, during which he knelt during the National Anthem at NFL games.
But the Hillsborough Police Department wants members of the community to consider donating them instead.
On Tuesday, the department released a statement on their Facebook page, encouraging members of the community not to burn their usable Nike products. The post urges people who are planning to destroy their products to reach out to the police department so they can get them to people in need. They are calling the outreach “Donate Before Destruction.”
Hillsborough Police Lt. Andy Simmons said the promotion is not political in nature and has more to do with helping those in need than the Nike-Kaepernick partnership.
“Why destroy something that’s perfectly useful for somebody that can’t afford to have it?” Simmons said.
UNC first-year Joshua Kegeris said he was surprised a brand like Nike would take such a clear stance on a topic that’s so divisive among so many people. He said he respected Kaepernick’s history and the protesting he did during his time in the NFL.