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The Controversy to the New Nike Ad Campaign

Colin Kapernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality. This protest was seen by critics as disrespectful to the military, with President Donald Trump calling for players who protested during the anthem to be fired.

Lawsuit against the NFL

Kaepernick is involved in a lawsuit against the NFL, accusing team owners of colluding to keep him from being assigned after he became a free agent in March 2017 because of his protests. The NFL was denied a summary judgment against Colin Kaepernick after the NFL requested dismissal of the case on the grounds that Kaepernick and his legal team had not presented sufficient evidence to proceed. This means Kaepernick and his team get to keep pursuing the collusion grievance.  At the hearing, Kaepernick has the burden of proving that the league or its franchises engaged in collusive behavior, and that in doing so Kaepernick suffered economic damage.

Nike’s New Ad

On Monday, Kaepernick made headlines when he tweeted an image from Nike’s new “Just Do It” ad campaign showing Kaepernick’s face with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike also released a commercial narrated by Kaepernick that features a wide range of athletes, including Serena Williams, and Lebron James. The ad shows all the athletes playing sports, while Kaepernick appears only in the final seconds, not wearing his football gear, but instead a turtleneck and a tan coat. The commercial ends with Kaepernick saying, “So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they’re crazy enough.”

Nike Being Boycotted

It is no surprise that Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, sparked outrage across social media for being the face of Nike’s new ad campaign. As a result, people threatened to boycott Nike, with some even destroying their Nike shoes and socks. There aren’t any known effects to Nike’s business as of yet. Most business and brand observers say that Nike may have weighed the risks of running the Kaepernick ad.  As part of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, the Kaepernick ad was a preview to the full-length commercial set to air during the NFL regular season kickoff game Thursday night.

The Aftermath

Nike’s campaign is said to result in the alienation and loss of customers, which is not the purpose of the marketing campaign. But, despite the backlash, the campaign has proven itself successful, receiving more than $43 million worth of media exposure in less than 24 hours, Bloomberg reported.If people want to take their anger and burn their shoes that’s up to them, besides I’m sure Nike knew that featuring Kaepernick in their campaign would draw calls of boycott and so much more.

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