Published on September 5th, 2018 | by Landon Buford0
LeBron James & Serena Williams Back Colin Kaepernick After Release of Nike AD
Nike recently rolled out their new campaign for their 30th anniversary of “Just Do It,” centered around former San Fransico 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Upon its release, it received praise and backlash from the general public on social media.
On Monday the former 49er shared a photo from the Nike campaign on his Twitter account. He has been one of the polarizing figures in sports since he decided to take a knee during the national anthem as a silent protest against social injustice.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Nike and Kaepernick have been in a partnership since 2011; the Portland, Oregon based company is a sponsor of the NFL. The two sides have collaborated on other campaigns in the past, but this is different because Kaepernick is not currently on an NFL roster. He decided to opt out of his contract and hasn’t been able to find a job since.
The NFL chose not to address Nike’s decision to use Kaepernick in their campaign directly, but they did release this statement:
“The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserves our attention and action. … We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities.”
The NFL has released a statement on social justice, saying the issues that Colin Kaepernick and others have raised deserve attention and action. pic.twitter.com/QfmEUkXdjT
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 4, 2018
Nike has stated that they plan on featuring other athletes such as Serena Williams, LeBron James, Lacey Baker, Shaquem Griffin, and Odell Beckham Jr. But Kaepernick is the one athlete that has received a backslash for his stance on social media. A #NikeBoycott hashtag started trending on Twitter, and it depicts some individuals burning their Nike apparel made famous after LeBron James decided to take his talents to Miami back in 2010.
Earlier this year former Notre Dame Head coach Lou Holtz spoke with Brandon Robinson, the host of Scoop B Radio; the two talked about how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could do a better job with the handling of players kneeling:
“We have 32 NFL teams in major cities. Why can’t we organize the players from those teams as well as from the NBA and Major League Baseball? Let’s go into the cities and teach our young children how to make good choices and how important it is to get an education. Whatever happens, we teach them to make good choices.” Said Holtz
“I had two players who played for me, admitted into the NFL Hall of Fame that is pretty good. They are proud and tremendous, that is three players that played for me, last year that are on the Notre Dame Coaching staff. I have two players last year that were added to the board of trustees at Notre Dame, that is no small feat. All those athletes are Afro-American and have all accomplished great things. I am not taking credit for it. They all came from different backgrounds. They all had every reason to be bitter and upset but what their parents and I like to think is we contributed was: let’s make good choices with your life and what you do. If we can teach people to make better choices, we would have a much better world and a more equal world.”
Also earlier this year Los Angeles based artist JAG released a single and a video called “Kapernick Effect” That went viral addressing social injustice surrounding police brutality.
“I just got off of work officer. I grew up in the church officer loosen the cuffs for me that S*** kind of hurts officer. No question you put my face in the dirt officer why does it feel like death and like I’m about to get merk officer. I ain’t packing nothing told that S*** to the first officer. You stopping because you are enjoying the perks officer” Said Jag in his lyrics
LeBron James is amongst many athletes who have come out in support of Nike’s new advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.
“I stand with Nike, all day, every day,” said James according to the Associated Press
Nike unveiled its new marketing campaign Monday, September 3, 2018, as part of the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” slogan with an ad that featured Kaepernick and the caption, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
23-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams backed Kaepernick as well after her match at the US Open.
“He’s done a lot for the African American community, and it’s cost him a lot, and he continues to do the best that he can to support.” Said Williams. She would go on to say “Having a huge company back him, could be a controversial reason for this company, but they’re not afraid, and I feel like that was a really powerful statement to a lot of, a lot of other companies,” Williams said on Tuesday at Flushing Meadows in New York.