Nike Incites Controversy By Making Colin Kaepernick Face of New Campaign

Yolanda Curtis
September 5, 2018

Protesters burned their Nike shoes, investors sold shares and some consumers demanded a boycott after the footwear and apparel maker launched an advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who sparked a national controversy by kneeling during the national anthem.

In addition to Kaepernick, Nike's 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign, which is meant to specifically speak to 15- to 17-year olds, also features Serena Williams, LeBron James, Odell Beckham Jr., Lacey Baker and Seattle Seahawks rookie Shaquem Griffin. At a rally in Alabama previous year, Trump said team owners should "get that son of a bitch off the field" if a player knelt in protest of injustice during the anthem. "Even if it means sacrificing everything", a reference to his stalled NFL career that came after the protest of taking a knee as the national anthem played prior to NFL games. "These are very rich and influential people who can actually make a change in this country and bring about some real reforms".

Nike recently signed a 10-year extension to be one of the NFL's official uniform sponsors.

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Other users saw Nike's ad campaign as a chance to invest in a company they believe is standing up for the rights of African-Americans.

Nike's launch of a major marketing campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is now suing the league's 32 owners for collusion, came just months after the league extended its partnership with the apparel giant. Something which Rich referenced in his many tweets criticizing the company.

"Hey Nike I guess you made Kaepernick your new "face" of the brand because you love the way his socks look with your shoes?"

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Main Street Pilot CEO Col. Brian Searcy (Ret.) told Fox Business' Charles Payne that Nike's decision to use Kaepernick is just causing more divisiveness in the country.

This might be working in his best favor, as Kaepernick's contract is paying him similar money to "top end" National Football League players' endorsement deals.

Others however showed their support of Kaepernick. They've listened to the president of the United States call for NFL players to be fired due to their demonstrations to raise awareness of social injustice and police brutality during the national anthem.

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"The free market is a wonderful thing, and we'll see how this runs out for Nike", she said.

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