Nike’s latest viral ad is garnering praise online for its message of inclusiveness and perseverance at a time when organized sports have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.
The video, called “You Can’t Stop Us,” features a split screen stitching together footage of Black, White, Asian and Muslim athletes. Since it launched on Thursday, it has been viewed 20 million times on Twitter alone.
It had been viewed more than 11 million times on YouTube as of Friday afternoon and many commenters applauded its themes of diversity, social justice and collectivism.
“We’re never alone, and that is our strength,” says the ad’s narrator, women’s soccer star and equal-pay activist Meghan Rapinoe. “Because when we’re doubted, we’ll play as one. When we’re held back, we’ll go farther, and harder. If we’re not taken seriously, we’ll prove that wrong. And if we don’t fit the sport, we’ll change the sport.”
The commercial juxtaposes disabled and able-bodied athletes as well as male and female competitors in different sports. Throughout the 90-second spot, an athlete on one half of the screen mirrors another on the opposite side move-for-move, as if they are a single person.
By Chauncey Alcorn