NEW YORK CITY, United States of America: Nike has made American football superstar Colin Kaepernick the new face of its famous ‘Just Do It’ campaign in its unique attempt to take a stand against the rising racism in the United States.
Following Nike’s announcement, Americans have started burning their branded trainers and clothing in a demonstration of their own.
It should be noted that most of those protesting against Nike’s campaign are pro-Trump, white extremists, who are also sharing videos of them burning Nike products across social media, according to US media outlet MailOnline.
John Rich, one half of the country band Big & Rich, said their sound man, a former Marine, had cut off the famous swoosh logo from his socks. He threatened Nike in a tweet: “Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions.”
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
Others are setting their belongings alight, throwing them in fire pits of dousing them in flammable liquid.
Who is Colin Kaepernick?
In 2016 former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took the stance during the American national anthem, as a demonstration against the treatment of black Americans by authorities.
US President, Donald Trump heavily criticised the protest, claiming that NFL owners should ‘get that son of a bitch off the field’ when ‘somebody disrespects our flag’.
But now spokeswoman for Nike, Sandra Carreon-John, said: “Colin has been a Nike athlete since 2011. Colin is one of a number of athletes being featured as part of our 30th anniversary of Just Do It.”
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) September 4, 2018
Other athletes featured in the ad campaign include New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., skateboarder Lacey Baker and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who is an amputee with one hand.
According to ESPN, Gino Fisanotti, a Nike vice president of brand for North America, said: “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.”
ESPN reported that the new ad, meant to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the brand’s iconic ‘Just Do It’ motto, features the message: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick’s protests of racial injustice launched a movement across the NFL. No team signed him as a free agent in 2017.