Colin Kaepernick is a hero. Some recognize it, others may deny it. Nike is celebrating it.
After taking a knee during the national anthem for the first time nearly two years ago to protest police brutality, remaining unsigned to an NFL team for 551 days and suing NFL owners for seemingly blackballing him, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is now the face of Nike's 30th Anniversary 'Just Do It' campaign. On Labor Day, the athlete and activist dropped a photo of the campaign ad via Twitter with the words "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."
Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt pic.twitter.com/SRWkMIDdaO— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
ESPN's Darren Rovell reports Nike has been paying Kaepernick all along and "waiting for the right moment," which is now. Although the sportswear giant signed with Kaep in 2011, they had not included Kaepernick in any campaigns since he chose to protest police violence in America in 2016.
Nike's vice president of brand in North America told ESPN the 30-year-old was chosen because he's inspiring a generation to use their platforms to catapult change. "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," said Fisanotti.
The campaign is a slap in the face to 45, who made his irrelevant opinion toward Kapernick's protest very clear. It also sends a strong message to the NFL as Nike serves as the league's official uniform sponsor according to Sports Illustrated.
How you feeling, Kaep?
The ad comes just a week before the official kickoff of the 2018-19 NFL season, and on the brink of controversial NFL policies implemented to keep players from kneeling.
The announcement also comes just a week after news that Kaepernick’s case against the NFL for seemingly blackballing him in wake of his protests, will be headed to trial.
Take it from Nike -- greatness shall always be rewarded.
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