I Will Protest Nike by Burning All of My Shoes

I can’t even begin to say how disappointed I am in Nike. No one asked them to make a political statement with their new ad campaign. But once they decided to join the flag-kneeling debate, I knew I had to make a stand. So here it is: as long as Nike keeps Colin Kaepernick as the face of its campaign, I will burn all of my shoes.


This is a big sacrifice for me. Like most people, I wear shoes. In my many years, I’ve worn tennis shoes, golf shoes, loafers, boots, and galoshes. I’ve worn cleats. I’ve dabbled in Crocs. But I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I knew that my footwear was supporting a company that was actively supporting a political issue that I have very strong feelings about, although I’m not sure why. Thus, it is time to burn my shoes. All of them.


When I began my protest of Nike’s protest against those protesting NFL players’ protests, a lot of people asked me why I was burning all of my shoes, and not just Nikes. “Don’t you have shoes besides Nikes?” they wondered. Of course I own other shoes. UGGs. Sperrys. The list goes on. Dockers.


But that’s not the point! If Nike thinks it can get away with what it’s doing, then soon other shoe companies will also be throwing support behind these players, and then no shoes will respect the flag! But I’m taking action now to stop this problem before it starts by committing to walk without shoes for as long as it takes, or until I enter a restaurant that has a “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policy.


There’s no need to call me a martyr, although you can if you want to. I am just one freedom-loving individual who’s standing up to a corporation that’s trying to force its way into a debate where it doesn’t belong, like a wide foot in a pair of Nikes. So, until they change their ways, all of my shoes are going up in flames.


And starting this week, I am taking my protest to the streets! This is because my message is gaining ground, and also because my house burned down in a shoe-related fire. Starting tomorrow, I will begin buying shoes for no other reason to burn them. This is the most logical response, because it will send a message. When Nike gets its massive earnings reports, it will know that some of that money is protest money. That’ll make them feel guilty, or even scared. They’ll quake in their mass-produced sneakers.


It’s time to start a movement. It’s not enough to tell Nike that you’ll stop buying their products—they don’t care about individual patriotic consumers like us unless we really show them we mean business, and the only way to do that is to reject the idea of shoes entirely.


On an unrelated note, I’d never before realized how much broken glass is on the ground.