Brace for bad news, bigots: Nike stock closed at $83.47 on Thursday, an all-time high for the apparel company.
The news comes just 10 days after Nike unveiled Colin Kaepernick as the face of a new ad campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of its iconic “Just Do It” slogan.
In the immediate aftermath of the news, the internet got a few good laughs out of high-profile stories featuring Kaepernick haters burning their Nike shoes and hats and shirts, and local mayors attempting — with hilarious results — to ban Nike products.
Oddly, setting ablaze shoes you’ve already paid for and cutting Nike swoosh-sized holes in your own socks isn’t having the intended effect on the company’s bottom line (though adding ventilation to your socks is a proven way of combating chronically warm ankles.)
In the two or three days immediately after the announcement, Nike’s stock did decline by a marginal amount, as investors waited to see what the public’s reaction would be. Conservatives like self-employed sports watcher Clay Travis were quick to blame the decline on the Kaepernick ad campaign, but as Nike’s stock quickly rebounded — and then some — those same luminaries were preaching restraint, suggesting that it’s too soon to know what the financial implications will be.
Appreciate everyone Tweeting me about Nike’s stock price. I remain convinced the signing of Colin Kaepernick will be a major negative for the brand, but, as I’ve been saying since last week, it will take months to find out if I’m right or wrong.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 14, 2018
LeBron James, who has a lifetime deal with Nike and has been a vocal supporter of the NFL protests, celebrated the news on social media.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 14, 2018
The stock price surge comes days after a Quinnipiac Poll found that 67 percent of American voters actually support the right of NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem as a way to protest police brutality and racial oppression.
The same study found that American voters actually approve of Nike’s Kaepernick campaign by a 49 to 37 percent margin. The approval percentage skyrockets to 67 percent in 18-24 year olds, a key demographic for Nike.
The news can be taken as clear a sign as any that the NFL should stop panicking about players taking a knee, stop trying to avoid attacks by Donald Trump on Twitter, and simply let the players peacefully protest.
Approval ratings and stock prices are hardly a concern for Kenny Stills, one of the three players still taking a knee during the national anthem.
“We started the protest two years ago now—three years ago now—and we’re not going anywhere,” Stills told reporters this week.
“It’s not going to change. Activism isn’t something you just kind of get involved in and then turn your back on it. Once your eyes are open to some of the things that are happening, you continue to work and try and grow and create change for the rest of your life, so this is something I’m committed to forever.”
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