For the 30th anniversary of its iconic "Just Do It” campaign, Nike has released a series of ads showcasing athletes who’ve overcome obstacles.
Serena Williams, LeBron James, Lacey Baker, and Odell Beckham Jr. are featured in the campaign, but the athlete that’s getting all the attention is former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is the face of a new Nike ad that reads “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt”
Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt https://t.co/SRWkMIDdaO— Colin Kaepernick (@Colin Kaepernick)1536002445.0
“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,” Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.
“We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce 'Just Do It' to a new generation of athletes,” Fisanotti said.
Kaepernick caused a firestorm back in 2016 by kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem to protest injustice against people of color.
After the 2016 season, Kaepernick has yet to land with another team, prompting him to sue the NFL's owners for colluding to keep him off the field.
NFL outcast Colin Kaepernick chosen as new face of Nike campaign amid Trump national anthem kneeling row… https://t.co/SsktvKoPt8— Mirror Sport (@Mirror Sport)1536042745.0
Conservatives were upset by Kaepernick’s protest against inequality, claiming it was disrespectful to America’s military.
#NikeBoycott Some folk will never ever get it because they have their own ignorant racist agenda! https://t.co/KCJtdNoion— tchaz (@tchaz)1536064520.0
Nike’s decision to highlight Kaepernick’s brave choice to sacrifice his lucrative career to take a stand for justice has caused a conservative backlash.
The patriotically-correct crowd has been burning Nike shoes and defacing their undergarments in protest.
Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions. https://t.co/h8kj6RXe7j— John Rich (@John Rich)1536015769.0
.@Nike Due to your support of C.K. in your coming adds, I as an American can no longer support your company.… https://t.co/vKkFpsg87P— AlterAtYeshiva (@AlterAtYeshiva)1536025114.0
Colin Kaepernick becomes the face of Nike's Just Do It campaign #NikeBoycott https://t.co/kPZCfPtfjH— TIMENOUT (@TIMENOUT)1536070409.0
For Nike, the Kaepernick ad is a savvy move designed to court controversy. The campaign is a clear appeal to younger consumers who overwhelmingly support Kaepernick.
You burning your Nike gear costs Nike nothing, & gives them free advertising. They are going to sell more to other… https://t.co/c4lG11wT6y— Benjamin Allbright (@Benjamin Allbright)1536070270.0
According to Fisanotti, the updated “Just Do It” campaign is specifically targeted at the teenage demographic.
For many, the #BoycottNike campaign is just another misguided Trump-era outrage that will amount to nothing. Since Trump took office, conservatives have called for boycotts of Starbucks, Keurig, Amazon, Nordstrom, and the NFL to no avail.
Here are some of the funniest tweets inspired by the #BoycottNike controversy.
If you trying set these on fire please DM me before you do...😂🤷🏽♀️ #NikeBoycott https://t.co/7hmJ66VKSU— Bre's Closet🛍 (@Bre's Closet🛍)1536067002.0
I’ve been boycotting Nike for years. It’s called being poor #NikeBoycott— Myk Saiten (@Myk Saiten)1536078359.0
#Nike just lost another customer. How will they ever recover?! 😂 #NikeBoycott https://t.co/GcgialM6x5— Thomas Taylo (@Thomas Taylo)1536078694.0
White ppl getting rid of Nike's like ...#NikeBoycott 🤣🤣🤣 https://t.co/9rJYJFvr6G— OfficialGP (@OfficialGP)1536071394.0
#Nike when it sees all the people burning and cutting thier expensive and already bought clothing. When will peopl… https://t.co/dEPpSoFrSo— Grimlock Dinobot (@Grimlock Dinobot)1536081923.0
Supporters of the #NikeBoycott are the same folk that cry about ‘snowflakes’ and how sensitive everyone is...yet ar… https://t.co/u2d7jeqGZn— Shahmir Sanni (@Shahmir Sanni)1536081655.0
😂 #NIKETakesAKnee #nikeboycott I hope y’all like sporting these babies. https://t.co/TEaXc8mxB2— $aucy_Bre (@$aucy_Bre)1536073316.0
I see that Nike stock has dropped in value due to a #NikeBoycott. This will be temporary. The fact is, the folks bo… https://t.co/D3dcXv7tle— Paul Green (@Paul Green)1536071863.0
When a Trump Supporter Footlocker Employee has to Ring Out all of my Nike Kaepernick Gear 🖕🏾#NikeBoycott https://t.co/m8gTkNU671— Nipsey4Eva TMC🏁 (@Nipsey4Eva TMC🏁)1536078922.0
Why do y’all always gotta burn stuff when you’re mad? 😂 #NikeBoycott https://t.co/tNxCsTasTd— Mullin Rae (@Mullin Rae)1536078431.0
This is amazing! #NikeBoycott #Kaepernick https://t.co/Gd6TGr0jzV— Candi Parker (@Candi Parker)1536068311.0
One guy pretended to set his feet on fire to mock the #BoycottNike folks.
BREAKING: Local man turns hollow gesture into a trip to the hospital. Thanks Obama! #NikeBoycott https://t.co/7ErswUPEOQ— Matt Lipton (@Matt Lipton)1536064326.0