Nike is making a statement. Yes, dollars are involved, but it is still a bold statement for a company that actually makes some of the NFL teams’ uniforms.
Four days before a new NFL season gets underway, Nike is throwing its weight behind one of the most polarizing figures in football, and America: former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick will be one of the faces of Nike’s 30th-anniversary commemoration of its iconic “Just Do It” slogan. The campaign will also feature athletes such as Serena Williams, NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and Shaquem Griffin, a rookie linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks whose left hand was amputated when he was a child.
Kaepernick tweeted out a photo from the campaign on Monday. Over a black-and-white picture of his face, a caption reads, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike has continued to pay Kaepernick as part of his endorsement deal despite the fact that he hasn’t played since the 2016 season.
Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, Gino Fisanotti, issued a statement to ESPN regarding Kaepernick’s involvement in the campaign.
“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.”
Powerful stuff, Nike.