Yesterday controversial American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick was revealed as the face of Nike's new ad campaign.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Kaepernick, who is currently a free agent, generated controversy back in 2016 when he decided to kneel during the national anthem, a decision made in order to highlight racial injustice in his country.
This did not go down well with many Americans at the time, and the subsequent deal that the 30-year-old has struck with Nike has also drawn criticism, with the hashtag #JustBurnIt trending on Twitter, and numerous people proclaiming that they will never buy Nike products again:
— AlterAtYeshiva (@alteratyeshiva) September 4, 2018
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4
— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
Hey #Nike . I don't wear politics or anything related to #ColinKaepernick I no longer buy 5 to 6 pairs per year of Air Monarch Black size 9 anymore either. Just do it? I did. I set my bunions free. #RemovetheSwoosh pic.twitter.com/68UuGMmIaD
— Twentyoz (@Twentyoz_) September 3, 2018
@Nike has always been my favorite sportswear. BUT...I will never buy another product with their name or logo on it. I'll be burning anything I currently own today. @FoxFriendsFirst #IStandForOurFlag #BoycottNike #JustBurnIt
— Brian Lawrence (@wvnascar24fan) September 4, 2018
The controversy has also given rise to people on the other side of the fence who have made light of some of the overreactions to the ad campaign:
— bobby boucher (@TreatTheFeet) September 4, 2018
— jordan (@JordanUhl) September 3, 2018
I just wrote “NIKE” on twenty dollar bills and burned them to own the libs.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) September 4, 2018
Breaking: Nike responds to MAGA backlash pic.twitter.com/8NQj0Y9Hkt
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) September 4, 2018
While I would hasten to say that Nike's choice to back Kaepernick is brave, I'm sure they calculated that the pros outweighed the cons, it is interesting to see a brand take a stand on what has been a divisive issue for America over the past two years.