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Today’s comments were selected from Cathal Kelly’s column “Nike sides with Kaepernick, and deals the NFL a devastating cultural blow”. Reader opinion on this issue spans the spectrum and many comments make compelling points about the nature of Nike’s campaign, Kaepernick’s protest and politics today.

Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the face of Nike's 30th anniversary campaign for its "Just Do It" slogan.

HANDOUT/Reuters

So glad someone stepped up and backed a noble man. What free society doesn't respect a citizen who exercises their right to freedom of expression in a non-violent way? Sickening. I'd buy Nikes now. - Rocky Raccoon

Though I do not personally agree with "taking a knee" during the national anthem, he has the right to free speech, in a country that supports it religiously, and it is peaceful, too. He is correct. The mistreatment of the African-American population is sickening. - doctor crs

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Nike lost $2.2 billion off their market capitalization today and alienated most NFL fans. Not really a smart move if you think about it. - El Guapo 66

I am going to buy a pair of Nike trainers today. I love this campaign. - Ge Lu1

Karl Marx also believed in something. Deeply. His manifesto is intelligent, cogent and utterly wrong. So is Kaepernick on this issue, notwithstanding Nike’s endorsement of him. Imagine a world where social justice warriors were given an opportunity to routinely pontificate on a matter of far more importance to them then their paying audience. Imagine an NFL game where before every kickoff, a player came on the microphone to extol the virtues of Republicanism to every paying member of the audience regardless of political affiliation? “All rise for the National Anthem - but first, here’s Joe to tell you what’s great about Trump and why Democrats are delusional." No one wants that, including Republican supporters. So it is here. Kaepernick has picked the wrong venue and wrong place for politics. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum this “protest” came from, it won’t have me buying Nike products, that’s for sure. - R Martin Weiler

In response to R Martin Weiler:

Marx’s theory wasn’t wrong, it’s execution was. The most brilliant observation from Marx was simply “People make their own history, but not under conditions of their own choosing!” Kaepernick just did exactly that, made history under conditions he didn’t choose.

Even an NFL-loving, crocs wearing, "yelling at clouds" old guy like myself gets the revolution Nike just kicked off right between the Donald’s uprights. Good on them to rebel, reject, reflect and revolutionize and make money doing it - JeanMichael

Dear Cathal, Good piece. Well written. I like the way you saved a key “punch point” for your ending.

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I think the meaning and importance of Nike's thinking is a function of a new tidal force in Western liberal democracies that has sprung from postmodernism. It’s about identity politics. The mantra of this movement says “Everyone is entitled to be recognized and respected as a unique individual”.

This isn't simply about reflecting the current "coolness" of The Resistance. It’s not about stickin' it to the man. It goes way beyond the concept of rebellion and upsetting the powers that be. This is a new and extremely dangerous force in our society. Identity politics is atomizing society and corroding the cohesion of nationalism in our Western world. This new force seems unstoppable. It is an existential threat to our world. It is impossible for our societies to recognize each of us as individuals. This impossibility strangles our ability to plan and execute according to collective will. This will end in tears.

Meanwhile, let's be realistic, Nike is just a business, they're in it for the money. Let's not be fooled into thinking there's anything noble going on here. - trishee1

Impressive statement from Nike. Hopefully Adidas and the rest will contribute something similar. - Ed09

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