Kaepernick Nike

Since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sidelined his football career to protest injustice, he’s been very outspoken on American issues of race and slavery from centuries ago. But Colin Kaepernick is also a highly-compensated face of sports retailer Nike. And therein lies the rub – the NFL player turn social justice warrior is notably silent on the slavery Uyghurs face in China where his namesake Nikes are made.

Nike Uses China’s Forced Labor

China has detained Uyghurs and used them in forced labor. The Uyghurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority in China. This human atrocity is happening in the Xinjiang region of China where Nikes are made.

China’s forced Uyghur labor is an ugly practice. One very similar to the pre-Civil war practices that Kaepernick and his fellow social justice warriors believe completely soils American exceptionalism.

Except, rather than happening in the 19th century, it’s happening right now in China. The difference appears to be that Kaepernick is profiting from it since Nike, who has given him a windfall of cash, uses Ugyhur labor. 

Nike and other companies have been attempting to block or weaken a bill that would block the import of goods made in Xinjiang unless the companies could prove forced labor was not used to manufacture them.

So far, those lobbying issues have failed.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 406-3 and is heading to the Senate. 

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Kapernick’s Silence On Modern-Day Slavery

This is modern-day slavery. Rather than talking about what is happening right now, Kaepernick wants to focus on the past here in the United States.

In this case, money appears to be buying the failed quarterback’s silence. 

Nike used Kaepernick’s picture in an ad saying, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”. He has embraced that motto but he refuses to sacrifice his paycheck from Nike for their use of forced labor.

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Kaepernick portrays himself as a victim who has been denied employment from professional football. He is not entitled to a contract even though he has been offered that opportunity through tryouts and failed.

Meanwhile, he is benefiting from people who have no choice in their employment matters and are thrown into modern-day slavery to make the products that help fill his bank account. 

It’s a classic example of hypocrisy, but much worse. Misery and forced labor are part of the daily life of Ugyhurs. And, this appears to be acceptable to Colin Kaepernick. 

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