Nike Incites Controversy By Making Colin Kaepernick Face of New Campaign

Kaepernick is at the forefront of Nike's new “Just Do It” advertising campaign.

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers throws the ball prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins on November 27, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

If Nike’s goal was to spark controversy, the popular athletic apparel manufacturer just did it.

With less than a week remaining before the kickoff of the NFL season, Nike had quarterback-turned-lightning rod Colin Kaepernick reveal he was the face of the company’s new “Just Do It” advertising campaign with a Monday afternoon Twitter post.

Kaepernick, who has yet to find work as a quarterback after becoming a free agent, has been a controversial figure because of his social justice protests during the National Anthem. The former 49er is in the midst of a collusion lawsuit against the NFL.

The campaign, which marks the 30th anniversary of Nike introducing its famous motto, was immediately met with backlash, and burnings, because of Kaepernick’s involvement.

Regardless of the fallout, Nike, unlike any quarterback-needy team in the NFL, is sticking with Kap.

“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,” Nike executive Gino Fisanotti told ESPN. “We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes.”

The campaign, which also features Odell Beckham, Shaquem Griffin, Lacey Baker, Serena Williams, and LeBron James, is meant to target 15- to 17-year old customers.

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