If Nike was looking for attention this past Monday, they got it when the company posted a picture of former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick to lead off its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick is a controversial figure after sparking protests during NFL games when he kneeled during the national anthem to raise awareness for undeserved people.
According to Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, the company believes that “Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.”
The move comes as a bit of a surprise as, although Nike signed Kaepernick in 2011, the company has not used him in the past two years.
The day after the release of the Kaepernick photo, many who see the athlete as a man popularizing disrespect against the flag and military veterans, called for a boycott of the Nike brand. How much traction this will get is difficult to say, especially when the company dresses a large portion of college football and basketball programs. For the Full List of of college programs with Nike sponsorship, CLICK HERE
Regardless of which side you’re on in this, I highly suggest everyone take a look at what Kaepernick has done since his last NFL game. While his actions may have rubbed many the wrong way, he was very serious about his beliefs. Check out Kaepernick’s $1 million pledge and his matching of donations after.
“Other athletes in the “Just Do It” campaign include Odell Beckham Jr., Shaquem Griffin, Lacey Baker, Serena Williams and LeBron James.” Currently Kaepernick “is suing NFL owners for allegedly colluding to keep him out of the league.”