For the 30th anniversary of its iconic “Just Do It” campaign, Nike has released a series of ads showcasing athletes who’ve overcome obstacles.
Serena Williams, LeBron James, Lacey Baker, and Odell Beckham Jr. are featured in the campaign, but the athlete that’s getting all the attention is former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is the face of a new Nike ad that reads “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
“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,” Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.
“We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes,” Fisanotti said.
Kaepernick caused a firestorm back in 2016 by kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem to protest injustice against people of color.
After the 2016 season, Kaepernick has yet to land with another team, prompting him to sue the NFL’s owners for colluding to keep him off the field.
— Mirror Sport (@MirrorSport) September 4, 2018
Conservatives were upset by Kaepernick’s protest against inequality, claiming it was disrespectful to America’s military.
— tchaz (@tchaz2017) September 4, 2018
Nike’s decision to highlight Kaepernick’s brave choice to sacrifice his lucrative career to take a stand for justice has caused a conservative backlash.
The patriotically-correct crowd has been burning Nike shoes and defacing their undergarments in protest.
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
— AlterAtYeshiva (@alteratyeshiva) September 4, 2018
…When you don't have any REAL life problems… you create them… 😂😂
Some Americans burning Nike shoes in protest to their new 'Colin Kaepernick' ad campaign.😊 pic.twitter.com/i6Dd8QYWD4
— Funny Zimbabwe Pictures (@FunnyZimPics) September 4, 2018
— TIMENOUT (@TIMENOUT) September 4, 2018
For Nike, the Kaepernick ad is a savvy move designed to court controversy. The campaign is a clear appeal to younger consumers who overwhelmingly support Kaepernick.
You burning your Nike gear costs Nike nothing, & gives them free advertising.
They are going to sell more to others because of the campaign.
You think a multi billion dollar company didn't study the cost/benefit fallout before launching the campaign?
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) September 4, 2018
According to Fisanotti, the updated “Just Do It” campaign is specifically targeted at the teenage demographic.
For many, the #BoycottNike campaign is just another misguided Trump-era outrage that will amount to nothing. Since Trump took office, conservatives have called for boycotts of Starbucks, Keurig, Amazon, Nordstrom, and the NFL to no avail.
Here are some of the funniest tweets inspired by the #BoycottNike controversy.
— Bre's Closet🛍 (@BlackBeauty504) September 4, 2018
I’ve been boycotting Nike for years. It’s called being poor #NikeBoycott
— Myk Saiten (@MykSaiten) September 4, 2018
— Thomas Taylo (@thomas_taylo15) September 4, 2018
— OfficialGP (@Rated_GP_11) September 4, 2018
#Nike when it sees all the people burning and cutting thier expensive and already bought clothing.
— Grimlock Dinobot (@MeMunchMetal21) September 4, 2018
Supporters of the #NikeBoycott are the same folk that cry about ‘snowflakes’ and how sensitive everyone is…yet are out in their gardens burning Nike merchandise because a man didn’t stand for a song. Wild #JustBurnIt
— Shahmir Sanni 🏳️🌈 (@shahmiruk) September 4, 2018
— $aucy_Bre (@ambreashia) September 4, 2018
— Paul Green (@bigsexy_tote) September 4, 2018
— PIMP C's NEPHEW (@REALsince86) September 4, 2018
So Nikes gonna sign someone who didnt stand for the anthem!!!!!
— ☝ 1 up top (@OneeUppTop) September 4, 2018
— Mullin Rae (@ohmyweinus) September 4, 2018
— Candi Parker (@candiparker) September 4, 2018
One guy pretended to set his feet on fire to mock the #BoycottNike folks.
— Matt Lipton (@mattliptoncomic) September 4, 2018
Article originally posted by upworthy.