Culture&Arts

People are burning Nike because Colin Kaepernick fronts its new campaign

People are burning Nike because Colin Kaepernick fronts its new campaign

People in the United States are destroying their Nike clothes to protest the company's new ad campaign starring football player Colin Kaepernick, who famously refused to stand during the playing of the U.S. national anthem previous year.

A Nike ad released on Monday featured a black-and-white closeup of Kaepernick's face and the words, "Believe in something".

Nike's sponsorship deal ensures the issue of the national anthem and player protests will re-emerge during the coming season, increasing pressure on the NFL to broker a solution.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017 and has not found work in the National Football League since, though the 30-year-old reportedly engaged in discussions with a few teams this offseason. He has since become an ardent supporter of racial injustice and the treatment of people of color by police authorities.

Kaepernick and Nike announced on Monday that he will be the face of the company's 30th anniversary of "Just Do It".

Trump added that he respects Nike's right to support Kaepernick, even if he doesn't.

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John Rich, one half of the country band Big & Rich, said their sound man, a former Marine, had cut off the famous swoosh logo from his socks. "They pay a lot of rent", he said. Even it if it means sacrificing everything.

NFL owners in May approved a new policy which made it mandatory for all players on the field to stand during the pre-match ritual of the USA national anthem. Protests by Kaepernick and other NFL players drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the league's handling of the issue and called on owners to fire any player who kneels during the anthem.

There was, of course, widespread support also for the company and Kaepernick, not least from fellow Nike athlete Serena Williams.

Many were anticipating a reaction from the NFL because of Kaepernick's collusion grievance against the league. Kaepernick started the protests in 2016.

"I think it's a bad message".

While the move by Nike may have come as a surprise to some, Yahoo Sports reported that Adidas and Puma were among multiple brands that had conversations about potentially building around Kaepernick if Nike failed to renew his deal.