An American football player, who sparked outrage after kneeling during the national anthem, has been unveiled as the face of Nike’s new campaign, causing threats of boycott.San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is appearing in the sports brand giant’s ‘Just Do It’ 30th anniversary campaign, alongside the likes of Serena Williams.
In 2016, Kaepernick knelt as the national anthem played in a protest against police violence against African-Americans.
At the time, President Donald Trump lambasted Kaepernick, and the other players who followed suit, calling them “sons of b*tches” for their “disrespect” to the US flag.
Trump, and his legions of supporters, even called for the players to be sacked.
On Monday, the sports star unveiled his controversial Nike campaign which depicts him beside the slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of branding for North America, was quoted by ESPN as saying: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.”
Now, Nike’s new casting is causing some to threaten to burn and deface their Nikes, with some using the hashtags #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt on social media in protest.
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
@Nike has always been my favorite sportswear. BUT…I will never buy another product with their name or logo on it. I’ll be burning anything I currently own today. @FoxFriendsFirst #IStandForOurFlag #BoycottNike #JustBurnIt
— Brian Lawrence (@wvnascar24fan) September 4, 2018
— J (@Junger1975) September 4, 2018
However, many others were in full support of Nike’s choice to use Kapernick.
— kuz (@kylekuzma) September 4, 2018
American setting their shoes on fire because a man who campaigned against racism has been chosen as the face of a Nike campaign. What a strange breed.
— Dan (@mufc_dan87) September 4, 2018
Right wingers burning their #Nike merch is almost as silly as Christians burning Beatle records back in the day. That really showed ’em.
— Sanda Blue (@SandaBlue) September 4, 2018
Whoever running Nike marketing is damn near genius. They understand the culture.
— LIGHT OF DAY (@preme) September 4, 2018
Nike is gonna get my business for decades.#rightsideofhistory
— Christopher Titus (@TitusNation) September 4, 2018
The really remarkable thing about that Kaepernick Just Do It ad – Nike is the NFL’s apparel supplier, they just signed a 10-year $3 billion extension, and they’re making the man who is suing the NFL for collusion the face of their brand. Incredibly ballsy stuff.
— Josh Gardner (@joshgardner) September 4, 2018
Kaepernick has not played in the National Football League (NFL) since 2017, and is in the process of suing the organisation on the grounds that owners froze him out due to his activism.
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