For 2 years now, Colin Kaepernick has led NFL headlines not for his play on the field, but for his controversial decision to kneel during the National Anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality.
In August 2016, Kaepernick told Steve Wyche of NFL Media, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick faced harsh criticism from many football fans and support from others. After opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017, Kaepernick’s ability to kneel in front America during the playing of the “National Anthem” was halted, however several athletes followed suit.
This style of protest garnered negative attention from Veterans, their families, a significant amount of football fans across the nation and included then Candidate Trump.
Now lets fast forward to today and Nike’s BIG announcement.
JUST IN: Nike faces backlash after putting America-hater Colin Kaepernick as face of their 'just do it' campaign pic.twitter.com/vtN6FM6qT4
— Wired Sources (@WiredSources) September 3, 2018
Colin Kaepernick will be the face of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, reports ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
According to Rovell, Nike has been paying Kaepernick all along and “waiting for the right moment,” which is now. Nike signed Kaepernick in 2011, but has not used him over the past two years.
“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,” Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.
The decision to make Kaepernick the face of their “Just Do It” campaign will probably spark more divide on the topic as we lead up to the kickoff of the 2018 football season. Seasons past have seen tremendous ratings drops as football Sunday has transformed from a day of family bonding to a day of controversial divide.
Time, sales and public opinion will identify if this was the right move for Nike, but initial reaction shows it may create more divide and product boycotts.
What are your thoughts of Kaepernick becoming the new face if Nike? Let us know below.