Small Missouri college ends Nike affiliation over Colin Kaepernick ads

Jo Caldwell
September 14, 2018

Nike has unveiled its first "Just Do It" ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot scheduled to air during the National Football League season opener Thursday night as well as during the U.S. Open tennis tournament and other major sporting events.

The president's son posted his own version of the ad on Instagram Wednesday with the comment, "There, fixed it for you".

Trump said in an interview with The Daily Caller, a conservative website, that "there's no reason" for Nike to feature Kaepernick in the campaign.

The real question for today is whether making Kaepernick part of its celebration of the 30th anniversary of Just Do It is a smart or idiotic move on Nike's part.

"I biked across America, and I did my Ironman and Nike was like, Charlie, we see you", he told TMZ. Now they've given him an excuse to send out a new smoke screen to help us forget about Russian Federation, rampant corruption and abducted children. "I have said that since Day 1".

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Regardless of how you feel about the ad, those we talked to agree that it's getting people to think.

"Nike more than anyone else really knows who their customer is", Svezia said, describing them as largely 14- to 22-year-old males.

The NFL, which gave in to pressure from Trump and ordered players not to kneel on the field during the anthem, nonetheless praised Kaepernick. And they said it could solidify Nike's bond with athletes, especially black ones, an important consideration for a company that relies heavily on sports stars to endorse its products.

The tweet inspired more players to kneel, which revived the issue between the players and their rights within the NFL.

However, Williams added that athletes needed to be careful of how they participate in any sort of social injustice.

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Robert Passikoff, founder of marketing consultancy Brand Keys, said an ad like Nike's will divide people, but the outrage won't last. He has an ongoing greivance filed against the NFL's owners for colluding against signing him to a contract.

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.

"As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way - I mean, I wouldn't have done it".

The Internet, in classic fashion, is making light of Nike's new campaign.

John Sweeney, sports communication professor at the University of North Carolina, said the Kaepernick ad was created to provoke people, and in that respect, it succeeded. Kaepernick said he was protesting police brutality.

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