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This Nike Coupon is Fake


Imageboard site 4chan has become a haven for right wing trolls – as its platform is one of the few that allows folks to still post completely anonymously. So it wasn't exactly shocking that a phony racist coupon was generated on the site in the wake of the controversy over Nike making Colin Kaepernick the face of their #JustDoIt campaign. 

According to reports in both USA Today and VICE, people trolling the Kaepernick Nike ads turned to 4chan, a website notorious for its "pol forum" (pol meaning “politically incorrect”), circulating fake coupons for people of color, non-white folks, and “urban youth” to use for “in-store purchases” at Nike stores. 

For those still not caught up, let’s take a look. Back in 2016, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 to peacefully protest police brutality in America. The next year, Kaepernick found himself out of work. He was not asked back to the San Francisco 49ers and no other NFL team offered him a contract. Today, he is still a free agent.

Since the controversy sparked by his silent and peaceful protest, Kaepernick threw himself into further activism, speaking out against the NFL and standing up as a fighter against social injustice. In fact, all 32 owners of the NFL are being sued by Kaepernick for conspiracy to intentionally keep him off the field.

In September 2018, Nike released its newest set promotional of promo ads to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its iconic slogan, ‘Just Do It.’ The company decided to step onto the right side of history and take a stance on what has now become a deeply political issue: kneeling during the National Anthem. Colin Kaepernick is the featured face of Nike’s newest ‘Just Do It’ campaign. (Check out Chill's recap here). OK, so back to the coupons.

There are a number of bogus Nike coupons with Kaepernick’s face on them, circulating via 4chan, promising huge coupons discounting items for “people of color,” claiming that the deal was rolled out "to show solidarity with the things we believe in,” VICE reports. One coupon offers “people of color” a 75 percent off deal on any purchase in store. Another is an “All-Access Pass” for “Urban Youth” with a QR Code for in-store use as well.

Not only do Nike point-of-sales systems lack the required tools to scan QR codes, but also the codes found on the fake, racist coupons appear to incite violence and carry threatening messages. According to Snopes, one of the QR codes was scanned and read, “This is a ROBBERY. Move slowly and put all the LARGE bills in the shoe box OR everyone DIES.”

Jack Gillis, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America said in an email: “I wouldn’t characterize this as a scam, but a full on racial epithet – this is nothing more than a dog whistle to a small, and unfortunate, segment of America. Another way to put it is that this is a racial statement masquerading as a scam.”


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