Colin Kaepernick–Symbol of Hypocrisy

By: Carol McClain       carol_mcclain

For the Fourth of July, Nike apparel was going to roll out a new shoe featuring the Betsy Ross flag. Kaepernick, a well-known football star and social activist protested. The flag symbolised slavery and a despicable time of our history. Nike withdrew the design.

On the outside, his protest looked good. Our nations foundations using slave labor is nothing to be proud of. However, we need to dig a little deeper.


This company, as most of our overseas manufacturing, is a de facto employer of slaves.

In Vietnam, Nike pays workers twenty cents an hour for a daily wage of  $1.60. Food costs $2.10 a day. According to Ethical Fashion Report, Nike receives the bottom score of living wages. Since 1991 when sweatshop conditions were revealed, Nike made improvements, but in the new century, it has returned to sweatshop conditions. According to a September 6, 2018 Newsweek report, low wages, long hours and poor working conditions prevail.

So, Kaepernick looks to be fighting for justice. Meanwhile, Nike is paying him millions (although exact figures haven’t been released, this is the norm). Kaepernick is supporting hidden slavery. If it wasn’t good for the African, it isn’t good for the Asian–even if we don’t see it.

Matthew 23:3 says, “So you must be careful to do everything the (Pharisees aka the hypocrites/teachers) tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”

I do not know much about Kaepernick and this is not an indictment against the man. As far as I know, he could be a misguided human. However, we must make sure our stridency does not mask hypocrisy.

Overseas workplaces gall me. It’s obvious we send manufacturing there because working conditions, wages and environment can be ignored. They cannot be disregarded in the United States. Thus, Kaepernick has become, to me, a symbol of human hypocrisy.


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