Colin Kaepernick Is The New Face Of Nike’s “Just Do It” Campaign

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Historically, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign captured the gravitas of courage in sport. Upon its 30th anniversary, the brand is celebrating the principles and sacrifice of an athlete who is more than a year removed from his field of competition.

Colin Kaepernick has been officially announced as one of several athletes that model for Nike’s 30th annual “Just Do It” campaign. The reveal came Monday afternoon (September 3) in the form of a tweet from Kaepernick that featured a black-and-white photo of himself cropped into his eyes and nose. Over the picture, in white text, it reads, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The Nike campaign is part of a series that features tennis champion Serena Williams, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and Seattle Seahawks’ Shaquem Griffin. Notably, Colin Kaepernick is not presently active in the sport, as no NFL team has signed the former Super Bowl player since his 2016 pregame demonstrations.

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The former San Francisco 49er is best known for kneeling during the singing of the national anthem before NFL games beginning in the summer of 2016 to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Although some have reacted strongly to Nike’s alignment with Colin Kaepernick, many fellow football players, other pro athletes, and fans followed his lead or showed their support in other notable ways.

Kaepernick became a free agent for the 2017 NFL season but has not been able to secure a QB position with any team since. Then, in October of 2017, he filed a lawsuit claiming that the owners had conspired to keep him off of the field (and in turn, away from cameras). Many players and analysts have stood with Kap’ on this issue as well. So, with Nike being a long time partner of the NFL, it should be interesting to see how this affects their relationship.

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It’s worth noting that Kaepernick has had an endorsement deal with Nike since he entered the league in 2011. So, yesterday’s unveiling of their new ad actually just re-upped a contract that was expiring soon.

#BonusBeat: A 2017 TBD episode examines how big media may have been ignoring impacts of an NFL TV boycott that relates to the very grievance Colin Kaepernick and his legal team are citing:

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