Nike selected former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of its “Just Do It” campaign, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Darren Rovell of ESPN reported the choice of Kaepernick, who started the movement to kneel during the United States national anthem to protest racial injustice in August 2016.
The Daily Mail reports,
Nike customers upset at the decision took to Twitter and shared videos of them destroying their apparel.
Many clips showed people setting their sneakers and clothes on fires while others cut their socks.
John Rich, one half of the country band Big & Rich, said their soundman, a former Marine, had cut off the famous swoosh logo from his socks.
Veterans organization Vote Vets urged critics to donate their items rather than burn them.
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
A Twitter user who goes by the name Sean Clancy posted video showing a pair of Nike sneakers being set on fire.
‘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?’
Another Twitter user who identifies himself as AlterAtYeshiva posted a video of himself placing a number of Nike sneakers into a fire.
Nike’s decision to pick Kaepernick, the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racism, as one of the faces for advertisements commemorating the 30th anniversary of its Just Do It slogan, is a move that could draw President Donald Trump’s ire.
‘Colin has been a Nike athlete since 2011,’ Nike spokeswoman Sandra Carreon-John said on Monday.
‘Colin is one of a number of athletes being featured as part of our 30th anniversary of Just Do It.’
She said Nike unveiled the campaign last week by releasing a film featuring Serena Williams entitled ‘Voice of Belief.’
Based on images sent by Nike, other athletes featured in the ad campaign include New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., skateboarder Lacey Baker and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who is an amputee with one hand.
Former NFL quarterback Kaepernick posted a black-and-white close-up of himself on Instagram and Twitter on Monday featuring the Nike logo and Just do it slogan along with the quote, ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.’
‘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 Gino Fisanotti, a Nike vice president of brand for North America, according to ESPN, which first reported Nike’s decision to use Kaepernick as part of the ad campaign.
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