Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

LeBron James 'stands with Nike' over Colin Kaepernick campaign

LeBron James 'stands with Nike' over Colin Kaepernick campaign

Nike is doubling down on its new controversial Colin Kaepernick campaign by airing his ad during the National Football League season-opening game Thursday night, according to media reports.

The president's son posted his own version of the ad on Instagram Wednesday with the comment, "There, fixed it for you".

The problem with most of the commentary I've heard and read is that it's delivered by middle-aged or older men, majority white, who aren't even close to Nike's target audience.

The private Christian school located south of Branson, Missouri, said Wednesday that it would be dropping its affiliation with Nike over the Kaepernick "Just Do It" ad campaign. One ad image features the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback's face with the text: "Believe in something".

"If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them", College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement.

Kaepernick and other players kneeled rather than stood for the national anthem at some games.

Country singer John Rich tweeted a photo of a pair of Nike socks with the brand's swoosh logo cut off. And they said it could solidify Nike's bond with athletes, especially black ones, an important consideration for a company that relies heavily on sports stars to endorse its products.

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However, Williams added that athletes needed to be careful of how they participate in any sort of social injustice.

Bethann Hardison, an activist for diversity in fashion and a former supermodel who was also honored by Harlem's Row, said she was happy with Nike's move.

Kaepernick is suing the NFL, saying its owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests that spread to teams nationwide.

Trump called Nike's campaign "a awful decision" in an interview with the Daily Caller published on Tuesday, but he also showed some respect for Kaepernick's right to speak out.

"I feel like I've lived through this before, just being close to my older brother and seeing him go through it when he was with the 49ers", Justin Reid said.

But to one fellow member of the pro-quarterback fraternity, an athlete's sacrifice - even one that could mean no longer being a professional athlete - doesn't compare to some more real-world examples.

Nike will also donate money to Kaepernick's "Know Your Rights" campaign. "But I'm such a huge, huge, wholehearted supporter of Colin that I'm very proud that someone understands what he's done and (is giving) him some kudos". Nike's use of Kaepernick in the "Just Do It" ad seems to affirm that dedication, Holt said, because it will inevitably alienate some customers. Kaepernick said he was protesting police brutality.

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