Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ‘Just Do It’ Ad Sparks Outrage and Applause

Colin Kaepernick GQ Interview (Credit: YouTube)

Nike sparked a major debate on Labor Day for using Colin Kaepernick — a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and leader of the #TakeAKnee movement — as the face of its “Just Do It” anniversary campaign.

The ad features a black-and-white image of Kaepernick’s face with text that reads: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.”

The athlete was likely chosen for the 30th-anniversary campaign due to his social justice work, including his fight to end racial injustice and police brutality in America. Kaepernick first drew awareness to these issues when he took a knee during the national anthem at a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers in 2016.

Although many NFL fans applauded the peaceful protest at the time, others criticized the movement as disrespectful to the military and the American flag.

The debate about Kaepernick’s intentions concerning the  #TakeAKnee protest was revived again after Nike shared the campaign on social media.

“Colin Kaepernick made a guaranteed $39 million in the NFL. Now he’s pocketing more money in a Nike ad because he knelt on a football field,” Fox News contributor Britt McHenry wrote on Twitter. “’Sacrificing everything?!’ Disrespectful to our military members who’ve truly sacrificed everything.”

“Oh no, please tell me this is a joke right?” someone else tweeted. “So #Nike chooses an anti-American, disrespectful, Communist-loving, spoiled and entitled loser who promotes victimhood and refuses to honor our country & veterans, as their new poster child? #BoycottNike.”

Some people went as far as to burn and cut up their Nike products to get their point across, a trend Kaepernick supporters found amusing.

“Trump fans have to burn Nikes because they don’t have any books,” one commenter joked.

“Stop using the troops as an excuse to burn your Nike sh-t,” another person tweeted. “I’m not your scapegoat. I’m gonna sit over here and continue to buy my Nike stuff, they give military a discount. #NikeBoycott.”

Sportscaster and social commentator Jemele Hill added: “I’m just here to remind folks that last year Colin Kaepernick was in the top 50 in NFL jersey sales, despite not being on a roster. Nike made a business move.”

Despite the support from Kaepernick supporters, Nike’s stock dropped 3 percent on Tuesday.