NC police department asks Nike protesters to ‘#DonateBeforeDestruction’
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — A North Carolina police department is asking the public to donate their discarded Nikes instead of destroying them.
Hillsborough police posted the call to action on Facebook with “#DonateBeforeDestruction.”
When Nike revealed its recent decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the face of its latest advertising campaign, some sports fans picked up their lighters and scissors to express their outrage.
Nike’s decision has been heavily criticized by some customers who posted videos to social media of them burning and cutting up their Nike attire to protest the use Kaepernick to promote the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” advertising campaign
“There is a national trend of destroying perfectly good Nike shoes,” the post reads. “If your plan is to destroy them contact the Hillsborough Police Department and we will get them to someone who could use them.”
The police department emphasized that this was not intended as a political gesture, but rather as a sensible one.
According to WCNC, the Hillsborough police #DonateBeforeDestruction project began with Lt. Andy Simmons.
“If there’s a kid out there who needs a new pair of shoes, why destroy them?” Simmons said to WCNC. “I guarantee they could get more from a smile on a child’s face than a symbolic burning of a pair of shoes.”
Simmon said the department had still not received any donations, but response has been mostly positive.
The protests opposing Kaepernick are largely fulled by the former San Francisco 49er decision to kneel during the National Anthem.
He has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season. That year, he began kneeling during the National Anthem to raise awareness about police brutality against African-Americans and other racial injustices. Dozens of other players began joining Kaepernick, and he has become a symbol of the dividing lines over race in America.