News & Politics

Conservatives Burn Shoes after Nike Makes Colin Kaepernick Face of 'Just Do It' Campaign

Nike has decided to feature one of the most polarizing figures in football in its “Just Do It” ad campaign, a risky move that could alienate a significant chunk of its customers. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick shared the new ad on Twitter Monday:

That message may come back to haunt Nike. While it’s likely that many of the company’s customers approve of the ad, Nike risks losing many customers who don’t like the political message.

Some folks were so disgusted by the move that they reacted by destroying their Nike products and posting the videos on Twitter:

I can’t vouch for this one. Some video trickery may be involved:

Some other reactions on Twitter:

Not surprisingly, the rabidly anti-Trump former CIA director loves that Kaepernick is one of the new faces of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign.

Nike signed Kaepernick to an endorsement deal in 2011 and has kept him on its endorsement roster all this time.

Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN, “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 is also using Odell Beckham Jr., Shaquem Griffin, Lacey Baker, Serena Williams, and LeBron James in its “Just Do It” campaign.

“We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes,” Fisanotti said.

Fisanotti said the new version of the campaign is meant to specifically speak to 15- to 17-year olds.

Kaepernick’s protests of racial injustice — which began in August 2016 with sitting and later kneeling during the national anthem — launched a movement across the NFL. No team signed him as a free agent in 2017.

The company appears to be betting that it will come out ahead despite withering criticism and boycotts from conservatives and possibly even the White House in the days to come. Perhaps, perhaps not.  It will be interesting to see how Nike’s stock price does in the coming weeks.