Nike made waves in both the political and sports world when they revealed former San Fransisco 49ers backup quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, would be the face for their 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” campaign.
The first image is of Kaepernick accompanied by the caption, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. Just Do It”:
BREAKING: Nike had been paying Colin Kaepernick all along, waiting for the right moment. That moment is now, as he becomes the face of the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. pic.twitter.com/uccpDStbq5
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 3, 2018
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
“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.
“We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes,” he continued.
Fisanotti added that the ad is specifically targeted to their younger demographics.
The ad refers to Kaepernick starting the current movement of protesting during the national anthem before the start of NFL games to protest racial inequality.
“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,” he told NFL.com.
The reaction to the ad has been mixed:
— Casey Neistat (@CaseyNeistat) September 3, 2018
You sacrificed nothing. You are a spoiled punk who is a horrible quarterback, destroyed a once great franchise, started a movement disgracing REAL heroes who sacrificed their life to die for America all for you to parade as a fake victim blaming racism while you get paid to do it https://t.co/CTkNffIQpl
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) September 4, 2018
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 3, 2018
— Madison Gesiotto (@madisongesiotto) September 3, 2018
Colin Kaepernick is the living example of, what’s for you is for you … https://t.co/uJ2Oai4dee
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 3, 2018
Name the thing he sacrificed. He was benched before he protested. He’s become far more celebrated and famous than his performance would justify. Now he’s got a lucrative ad contract. Ali sacrificed something. Kaepernick didn’t. https://t.co/cvnNAgiG9K
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 3, 2018
After opting out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017, no team has signed Kaepernick and he remains a free agent.