Colin Kaepernick will be featured in Nike's 30th anniversary campaign, which sparked several calls for boycotts on social media, even as other praised the brand for supporting the controversial sports figure.
On Monday, Kaepernick tweeted out a poster for the new campaign, which features his face. "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything," the slogan reads. Nike's trademark "Just do it" was added at the bottom.
Since Kaepernick's social activism remains a dividing topic, the move surprised those used to corporations not taking a stand. Kaepernick is the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice during the 2016 season. Although Kaepernick has not played since 2016, he inspired other NFL players to do the same. Although the players have said they are not protesting the American flag, conservatives - including President Donald Trump - have deemed the protest unpatriotic.
As expected, the ad divided Twitter. Conservatives vowed to boycott the brand, with one radio technician even cutting off the Nike logo from his socks.
"Guess I won’t be purchasing anything Nike again," one person wrote.
Guess I won’t be purchasing anything Nike again.— John Morning (@jcmorning) September 3, 2018
"Got a ton of Nike crap to throw away! Like my Adidas better anyway," another person wrote.
Got a ton of Nike crap to throw away! Like my adidas better anyway.— Donna P Tisdell (@dperl) September 3, 2018
"Another great excuse not to buy overpriced stuff," another person wrote.
Another great excuse not to buy overpriced stuff.— Ridge Runner (@Ridgerunner52) September 3, 2018
"Jordan had me a Nike guy since I was in 6th grade. I’m going strictly Adidas and Under Armour now. Unbelievable," added another.
Jordan had me a Nike guy since I was in 6th grade. I’m going strictly Adidas and Under Armour now. Unbelievable— Dylan Wilde (@wilde_dylan) September 3, 2018
However, another Twitter user pointed out that Adidas supported Kaepernick. Back in April, the Nike competitor said it would sign Kaepernick if an NFL team signed him.
Other Twitter users have started mocking calls for boycotts.
"I'm honestly surprised it took this long for the Kaepernick thing to be commodified. Nike is going to rake in the #Resistance bucks once Trump calls for a boycott," reads one tweet.
I'm honestly surprised it took this long for the Kaepernick thing to be commodified. Nike is going to rake in the #Resistance bucks once Trump calls for a boycott.— Caleb Watney (@calebwatney) September 3, 2018
Others joked that anyone boycotting Nike are people who usually wear New Balance shows.
Anyone that actually claims to boycott Nike over Kaepernick actually wears these: pic.twitter.com/an1Ojk1D6k— Chris Spangle (@chrisspangle) September 4, 2018
Aside from his new Nike ad, Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL took a big step forward last week, reports CBS Sports. The arbitrator overseeing the case sided with the quarterback, who has accused NFL teams of working together to keep him from playing again.
Photo credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated