On Thursday, September 6, 2018, during the National Football League (NFL) season opener, Nike aired what turned out to be an extremely controversial advertisement featuring Colin Kapernick. On August 26, 2016 Kapernick, former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, gained national attention for protesting during the national anthem by sitting instead of standing and eventually taking the famous, or infamous, knee. Kapernick was protesting racial injustice and police brutality stemming from a string of unpunished murders of unarmed men by police officers. On March 3, 2017 Kapernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers before they inevitably released him. He has yet to be signed by another NFL team.
Thursday night during the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons game, Nike aired their new ad highlighting Colin Kapernick as the face of it. About halfway through the ad, which Kapernick is narrating, he is shown and says- “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The ad attracted the attention of many and had both negative and positive backlash. Following the ad reveal, Nike’s stock fell approximately 3% and #NikeBoycott was trending on Twitter. Some people even posted videos online of themselves burning their Nike apparel. Recently, however, Nike’s sales have increased by about 31%. The NFL responded by releasing a statement saying: “The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action. … We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities.” Needless to say, the ad has a strong, moving message.
To view the entire ad visit:justdoit.nike.com