News and Commentary

Kaepernick Warns Against Capitalism, Ends Up Demonstrating How It’s A Force For Good
A Nike Ad featuring American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick is on diplay September 8, 2018 in New York City. - Nike's new ad campaign featuring Kaepernick, the American football player turned activist against police violence, takes a strong stance on a divisive issue which could score points with millennials but risks alienating conservative customers. The ads prompted immediate calls for Nike boycotts over Kaepernick, who has been castigated by US President Donald Trump and other conservatives over his kneeling protests during the playing of the US national anthem. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

National anthem-protesting former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kicked off December posting a warning against the dangers of capitalism but ended the month engaging in the most capitalist of actions, promoting his new hit shoe with Nike and, in the process, demonstrating the power of capitalism to be a force for good in the world.

Kaepernick, whose social justice activism has eclipsed his professional athleticism, has repeatedly criticized the United States from a radically left angle, including at one point favorably comparing the oppressive communist regime of Fidel Castro to the U.S. In early December, Kaepernick retweeted a quote from revolutionary socialist and chairman of the violence-embracing Black Panther Party Fred Hampton warning against the evils of capitalism:

“With no education you’ll have neo-colonialism instead of colonialism…and before you know it, they’ll [Black folks] be capitalist, and before you know it we’ll have Negro-Imperialist.” –Chairman Fred Hampton

While Kaepernick’s retweet and past rhetoric suggests he agrees with Hampton’s anti-capitalist sentiment, the former quarterback, who recently skipped what appears to have been his final shot at getting back into the NFL, has no problem promoting capitalism when it comes to his own product line.

In a series of tweets over the last week, Kaepernick has been busy pushing his new Nike shoe, part of his extremely lucrative deal with the shoe giant. “Inspired by the voice of the athlete, Colin Kaepernick x Nike Air Force 1 celebrates those who are . Available tomorrow at select Nike stores, retailers and SNKRS. Link in bio,” Kaepernick announced on Dec. 22, in the first of multiple tweets (below).

In the process of promoting his new shoe, the radical activist also ended up highlighting the world-changing power of the free market. In a pair of announcements, Kaepernick revealed that multiple private companies are donating some of the profits from the sale of his shoes to charitable causes.

“Great news! [Shoe Palace] will be donating all profits from the sale of my shoes to organizations fighting systemic oppression,” Kapernick tweeted. “Make sure you go to Shoe Palace and to get your shoes.”

“Good morning, everyone,” he wrote in another tweet. “More good news! [Jimmy Jazz] has joined in & is donating the profits from the sale of my shoe for the benefit of the people. Go grab a pair from their NYC, ATL or Charlotte locations to support the movement. On sale today!”

Kaepernick’s new Nike Air Force 1 special edition shoe features his NFL number, 7, and touts the day he began his polarizing protest of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The shoe’s design includes “a hangtag with Kaep’s number 7 atop a White midsole and icy translucent outsole with the date Colin first took a knee in protest ‘8/14/16’ on the right shoe,” SneakerBarDetroit reports.

Kaepernick first began to refuse to stand for the playing of the national anthem ahead of a preseason game against the Houston Texans on August 14, 2016. The next week, Kaepernick sat on the bench again for the playing of the anthem ahead of the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, at which point, his private protest started to get national attention.

Asked why he refused to stand to honor the flag, Kaepernick famously said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” said the then-second string quarterback. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Related: WATCH: After No Teams Call Him, Kaepernick Posts Defiant Message To League