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Other companies should follow Nike’s lead

Kaepernick ad should start a trend of more companies speaking out

Katya Gillig, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

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Nike recently dropped a controversial ad campaign with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick with the slogan “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” Amid criticism over the ad, Nike’s shares dropped 3 percent the day after the ad was released. However, Nike quickly bounced back, with online sales rising 31 percent.

This ad comes after Larry Fink, the lead of BlackRock the largest money manager in the world, called for more companies to get more involved in social issues.

“Society is demanding that companies … serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” he wrote.

Much of the dissent has come due to the fact that Kaepernick has been the subject of criticism after kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against African-Americans. Because of this, many people have called for boycotts of Nike.

The evidence backs up the fact that companies should take on a larger social role. Despite the initial drop, experts believe that Nike will see large gains.  Companies that follow environmental, social and governance, or ESG, have made $3.1 billion in investor money in 2018 alone.

Not only is there a growing market for socially responsible companies, but companies should feel moral responsibility to engage in social issues. Corporations should feel that it is their job to use their power to do good in the world. In an increasingly political world, it is time for companies to believe in something, even if it means taking a big risk.

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