Whereas different corporations are avoiding endorsing Colin Kaepernick, Nike has embraced him after he was unveiled because the face of an advert marketing campaign for the 30th anniversary of their “Simply Do It” slogan on Monday. The advert’s message reads: “Consider in one thing. Even when it means sacrificing all the pieces.”
Kaepernick performed six years for the San Francisco 49ers earlier than opting out of his deal in 2017, following backlash for kneeling in the course of the nationwide anthem in 2016 preseason video games as a protest towards racial inequality and violence.
He has since turn out to be a polarizing determine in the US, particularly with President Donald Trump attacking him and others who’ve adopted his lead for “disrespecting” the nationwide anthem.
No NFL workforce has signed him since both, with Kaepernick at the moment suing house owners for colluding to maintain him out of the league. Final week, arbitrator Stephen Burbank notably denied the NFL’s request to dismiss the case, which might result in a trial as Kaepernick seemingly has enough evidence.
And with Nike’s new advert marketing campaign, coming simply days earlier than the beginning of the 2018 NFL season, it’s sure to stir nationwide debate as soon as once more.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike continued to endorse the 30-year-old as they’ve completed so since 2011, although they didn’t function him in any campaigns since 2016 till now.
Many have praised Nike for his or her daring however dangerous transfer in sticking by Kaepernick, particularly as different corporations such as Adidas claimed they’d have solely signed him if he joined an NFL workforce.
Nevertheless, others have threatened to cease sporting and shopping for Nike merchandise, whereas some on social media have even posted movies of themselves burning Nike gear.
“We consider Colin is likely one of the most inspirational athletes of this technology, who has leveraged the ability of sport to assist transfer the world ahead,” Nike’s vice chairman of name for North America Gino Fisanotti told ESPN. “We needed to energise its which means and introduce ‘Simply Do It’ to a brand new technology of athletes.”
The likes of Serena Williams, LeBron James, Odell Beckham Jr., Shaquem Griffin and Lacey Baker are additionally a part of the marketing campaign. Williams was one in every of many athletes who responded to the information of Kaepernick and the advert marketing campaign on social media.
The NFL notably introduced a brand new coverage in Could that might penalize groups and gamers for protesting on the sector in the course of the nationwide anthem. They might, nonetheless, stay within the locker room in the course of the anthem.
Nevertheless, the coverage was placed on maintain in July when the gamers’ union filed a grievance because the NFL and NFL Gamers Affiliation look to achieve a decision. And so, protests continued on the first day of 2018 preseason with Kaepernick displaying his assist.