People are setting shoes on fire and slinging accusations of racism and disloyalty amid Nike’s recent ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
But for two men living in Central Washington, Kaepernick’s message brought them hope — and a burning desire to spread the word.
So Alex Sandoval of Yakima and friend Izaya Colson took to an alleyway garage and painted a mural of Kaepernick. They used the ad’s main image of Kaepernick, in black and white, facing the camera.
On the sides, they included the tagline that’s already spawned thousands of copycat memes across the internet.
“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Reaction to the mural, much like the ad, has been mixed.
Some people loved it, and said as much on Sandoval’s Facebook page and the TV station KAPP/KVEW’s thread about the mural.
Kaepernick retweeted an image of the mural, immediately drawing more attention to it.
But other Yakima natives were angry, disgusted or just outright unimpressed.
And at least one threatened to deface the mural on Facebook.
The commenter later walked back the threat, saying they didn’t think they’d ever go back to Yakima again anyway.
The mural is the latest flare-up surrounding Nike’s decision to use Kaepernick as the face of its latest campaign, “Dream Crazy.”
A Louisiana teacher told people of color to “stop acting like animals” and perpetuating stereotypes about themselves. She was responding to her students’ social media thread discussing the ad, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The teacher later apologized for her comments. She also no longer works for the school district.
An Orange County, California elementary school principal likewise gaffed by calling Kaepernick an “anti-American thug” on Facebook, where others quickly screenshotted the post.
Someone then started a petition demanding that the principal and others in the district “lead by example” and “act civilly, treat each other with respect, and not engage in name-calling.”
The petition has more than 2,500 signatures.