Nike is throwing its weight behind one of the most polarizing figures in football. The announcement of Colin Kaepernick’s new ad campaign prompted backlash with some buyers. Others thanked the company.
On Monday, the shoe and apparel maker announced former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be one of the faces of it’s 30th anniversary commemoration of its iconic “Just Do It” slogan.
The controversial quarterback appears in the ad with a black-and-white picture of his face. A caption reads, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick last played in the NFL in the 2016 season when he began to kneel during the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality against African-Americans and other racial injustices.
After the Nike announcement, one person cut the iconic swoosh out of his shoes.
Hey #Nike . I don't wear politics or anything related to #ColinKaepernick I no longer buy 5 to 6 pairs per year of Air Monarch Black size 9 anymore either. Just do it? I did. I set my bunions free. #RemovetheSwoosh pic.twitter.com/68UuGMmIaD
— Twentyoz (@Twentyoz_) September 3, 2018
John Rich, of the country band Big and Rich, tweeted that their soundman cut the Nike swoosh off of his socks.
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
One person set fire to their Nike shoes, claiming the company was forcing them to choose between “my favorite shoes and my country.”
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4
— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
Others supported the announcement and vowed to buy more Nike products.
Everyone walking out of the store with their Nike’s tomorrow pic.twitter.com/0w0o33FwUp
— Adam Schefter (@AdrianSchefter) September 4, 2018
This person wrote a thank you note to the company.
— Brown… Agent Brown. (@JayB_124) September 4, 2018
One person even offered to take the brand name merchandise off the hands of those who are destroying their shoes.
— Branden Wellington (@b_wellington) September 3, 2018
The 30th anniversary campaign also features sports stars LeBron James, Serena Williams, Shaqeem Griffin and Odell Beckham.