NFL Fans Start Burning Nike Shoes, Other Merchandise To Protest Colin Kaepernick “Just Do It” Ad Campaign
Hundreds of Nike consumers voiced outrage this week after the sports apparel company decided to feature Colin Kaepernick in its latest advertisement campaign.
Fans quickly started burning Nike shoes and other sportswear after the brand chose the free-agent NFL quarterback as the face of the 30th anniversary edition of its “Just Do It” ad campaign.
Kaepernick started drawing headlines in August 2016 after he began a series of controversial national anthem protests before football games in order to make a statement about racial inequality and police brutality against minorities in the United States. His actions sparked similar protests across the NFL and other major sports leagues.
Last week, a judge ruled in favor of Kapernick in a case involving a grievance he filed against all 32 NFL teams accusing them of collusion to keep him out of the league. The quarterback hasn’t played in the league since the San Francisco 49ers released him in March 2017.
The ad featuring Kaepernick includes the phrase: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” which seems appropriate to describe the free agent’s philosophy on making socio-political statements.
Dozens of fans shared photos and videos of themselves burning or otherwise destroying their Nike shoes as a way to boycott the company for its most recent decision.
— AlterAtYeshiva (@alteratyeshiva) September 4, 2018
.@Nike how you going to endorse @Kaepernick7 a person that advertises socks with cops portrayed as pigs, a person that hasn’t played NFL for 2 years, well it’s good I never really spent money on your brand but to the money I did, here they are pic.twitter.com/oHFVgDnR4K
— Sebastian Blanco (@thasaviorBlanco) September 3, 2018
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
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
Other fans appeared to support Nike and Kaepernick, however, by purchasing merchandise from the brand.
— Arlan 👊🏾 (@ArlanWasHere) September 3, 2018
Bought mine. Kneel for social injustice. Get it right America pic.twitter.com/2yWKLgdYVP
— StayTheCourse (@marcia_loverdi) September 4, 2018
Nike’s new ads also feature New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. — who recently became one of the highest-paid wideouts in the league — and rookie Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who had his left hand amputated as a child.
Kaepernick has received tributes from many organizations for his social justice work over the last year. In April, he was named Amnesty International’s 2018 Ambassador of Conscience.