LeBron James Says He ‘Stands With Nike’ After Backlash Of Colin Kaepernick Ad Campaign
Nike sparked outrage among hundreds of fans this week after it decided to launch a new campaign advertisement featuring Colin Kaepernick, but some people like LeBron James continue to support the free-agent NFL quarterback.
Speaking at Harlem’s Fashion Row show in New York on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers star said he “stands with Nike,” which chose Kaepernick as the face of the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign. The new ad shows the football player’s face alongside the phrase: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Conservative fans responded to Nike’s new ad by burning their shoes or other merchandise from the brand, and sharing photos and videos of this on social media. Others decided to cut the Nike “swoosh” logo out of their socks. Many of these fans were likely those who were upset by Kaepernick’s national anthem protests, which he started to make a statement about racial inequality and police brutality in the United States.
President Donald Trump — one of the NFL’s most outspoken critics — also voiced his anger at Nike’s new ad in a tweet on Wednesday morning:
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
James was honored with an award for his style and his humanitarian work at the fashion event, which was held primarily to celebrate diversity in the fashion industry. In a speech, the 33-year-old NBA star thanked the three most important women in his life — his mother, his wife and his young daughter.
“Because of you, Gloria James, I’m able to be in a position today where I can give back and showcase why I believe African-American women are the most powerful women in the world,” James said of his mother, according to ESPN.
The King will make his debut with the Lakers when the team visits the Portland Trail Blazers for its season opener on Oct. 18.