Nike Features Colin Kaepernick In New Marketing Campaign

FILE+PHOTO%3A+Former+San+Francisco+quarterback+Colin+Kaepernick+appears+as+a+face+of+Nike+Inc+advertisement+marking+the+30th+anniversary+of+its+%22Just+Do+It%22+slogan+in+this+image+released+by+Nike+in+Beaverton%2C+Oregon%2C+U.S.%2C+September+4%2C+2018.+++Courtesy+Nike%2FHandout+via+REUTERS%2FFile+Photo
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Nike Features Colin Kaepernick In New Marketing Campaign

FILE PHOTO: Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears as a face of Nike Inc advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of its

FILE PHOTO: Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears as a face of Nike Inc advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan in this image released by Nike in Beaverton, Oregon, U.S., September 4, 2018. Courtesy Nike/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears as a face of Nike Inc advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan in this image released by Nike in Beaverton, Oregon, U.S., September 4, 2018. Courtesy Nike/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

REUTERS

REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears as a face of Nike Inc advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan in this image released by Nike in Beaverton, Oregon, U.S., September 4, 2018. Courtesy Nike/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Maggee Chang, Staff Writer

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Recently, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and social activist Colin Kaepernick tweeted his collaboration debut with Nike. Yesterday, the company released their new marketing video– called “Dream Crazy”– which was narrated by Kaepernick and featured several athletes including Serena Williams and Lebron James.

Kaepernick’s photo became the face of Nike’s “Just Do It” advertisement’s thirtieth anniversary. “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt,” he tweeted. As the face of social activism in the world of sports and beyond, Kaepernick has definitely lived by his words– On September 1, 2016, Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” the athlete said in a interview with NFL media reporter Steve Wyche. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Many people resented his protest; claiming he disrespected the flag, thus to the military, its veterans, and those who have fallen. Many people have applauded him for his peaceful advocacy for the Black Lives Matter movement. Since then, Colin Kaepernick has been a free agent and focused on his activism, such as donating thousands of dollars to grassroots charities and even traveled to Africa to discover his ancestry last summer.

This new marketing campaign has received headlines-worthy backlash, from people vandalizing Nike products to an entire university stripping away its athletics department with all Nike equipment. #NikeBoycott was trending on Twitter on Tuesday. Nike shares took a sharp decline that same day. Many people criticized the campaign for politicizing the brand.

Despite being accused of siding with Kaepernick, Nike has not made any references of the athlete’s infamous protest. Simply, the campaign celebrates “Just Do It,” which Nike has promoted for the past thirty years. There is no mention of kneeling during the national anthem, nor is there anything racially-charged. However, burning in the name of protest is not protest at all– it is a wordless, heartless attack to the subject of anger. It is only in this news cycle that the subject of anger is a multinational brand advocating for compassion regardless of consequence, instead of an individual exercising his right to free speech.

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