For centuries, black men and women have been “Just Doing It” in every facet of life. It’s not just a slogan, but a conviction that encourages believing in the dream enough to go for it wholeheartedly, no matter the repercussion or retaliation from opposers.
Yesterday, Serena Williams was fined a hefty $17,000 for U.S. Open penalties, majorly including her passionate disagreement and demand for a respectful apology from a coach’s implication that Williams was cheating, and for more minor offenses such as smashing her racket.
The media lost no time classifying Williams as angry, unprofessional, and volatile, as opposed to focusing on her stats, or triumphs, or even focusing on a major emotional highlight of the game as Williams not only embraced her competitor Naomi Osaka, but stopped the audience from booing Osaka for making history in her victory against her.
Regardless of the fact that Serena Williams is the most influential tennis players to affect our society, let alone one of the most talented tennis players to ever professionally play the sport, we see that Williams is still subject to her game attire, self-expression, and overall blackness being scrutinized.
On last Monday, people took to social media to share their outbursts of joy or disgust as Nike announced Colin Kaepernick and Serena Williams as the faces of their new ‘Just Do It’ campaign.
Those displeased with Nike’s decision on the new campaign have literally been destroying their Nike gear and running to socials using #NikeBoycott in their own sort of attempt at ‘protest’ of the perceived ‘injustice’ from Nike’s latest ad campaign.
Unfortunately not new to passionate, wild backlash from audiences not supportive of his views nor actions, Colin Kaepernick is an activist and advocate against injustice who was featured in the new campaign. His career and life changed indefinitely after he was removed from the NFL league when he and several other athletes kneeled instead of pledging to a constitution that systematically oppresses people of color.
“Believe in something, Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Even when everyone is doubting you, disregarding you, defacing your name and worth, and threatening your safety and peace, the importance of standing firm on the foundation of the beliefs that you have reaches an all time high.
“It's only a crazy dream until you do it.” There is a reason why we love ‘come up’ stories from deserving beings with humble beginnings. There is a reason why witnessing or learning of one’s triumph through trial and tribulation, pulls on the heart strings. Perhaps, we know how easy it can be, how much more comfortable it can be sometimes to give up, so when someone pushes through, regardless of their situation, it is that much more beautiful to watch them win.
A dream truly is only ridiculous if you allow it to be. Hard work and dedication is essential, whether it’s grinding for that degree, surviving a tough chapter in life, or securing the top in the US OPEN 2018 final. Strength, resiliency and a vision worth your true belief are necessary ingredients for breaking through to meeting your dreams. Nike, Colin, and Serena wish to express that message as a reminder to let the naysayers and irrelevant “what ifs” melt away. Stay true to you and keep just doing it.