Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was named one of the faces of Nike’s new advertisement for its 30th-anniversary campaign on Monday. The move has been derided by conservatives online, with some burning their Nike apparel.
Kaepernick will be joined by other athletes, including tennis star Serena Williams and NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., in celebration of its “Just Do It” slogan, CNN Money reports.
The campaign features an image of Kaepernick’s face with this caption: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
The former NFL player has been a lightning rod of controversy ever since he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality.
Kaepernick has been a free agent since leaving the league in 2017 and has filed a lawsuit against the organization claiming that owners worked together to keep him unsigned.
Nike’s decision to work with Kaepernick was met with both support and criticism online.
Conservatives blasted the company’s signing him and began to burn their Nike apparel, such as their shoes, to show that they do not support the company’s decision.
— AlterAtYeshiva (@alteratyeshiva) September 4, 2018
One half of country music duo Big and Rich, John Rich, tweeted a picture of his sound man cutting off Nike’s iconic logo from his socks.
“Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready Nike [to] multiply that by the millions,” Rich wrote.
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
Others decided to show their support for Kaepernick, saying they will buy Nike products.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) September 4, 2018
Nike has sponsored Kaepernick since 2011, per CNN Money.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.