- Serena Williams and LeBron James have shown solidarity with Nike over its polarising Colin Kaepernick campaign.
- Nike dropped a 30th anniversary marketing ad featuring Kaepernick, alongside the words: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
- Williams said she is “proud” to be a part of the Nike family, while James reblogged the image on his Instagram account, where it was liked 1.5 million times.
- Not everyone supports Nike, however. Some people have destroyed Nike products in response, and President Donald Trump slammed the ad for sending “a terrible message.”
Serena Williams and LeBron James have shown solidarity with Nike over its polarising and controversial advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is an American football quarterback and currently a free agent having left San Francisco 49ers in 2017. Prior to this, the 30-year-old achieved global fame when he began kneeling during pre-game national anthems as a form of protest to police brutality against black people in the US.
He has not played in the NFL since opting out of his 49ers contract but has remained with Nike, the sporting retail giant who put Kaepernick front-and-centre of its 30th anniversary ad campaign.
An ad tweeted by Kaepernick on Monday read: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The ad has sparked mixed reactions worldwide.
Those against Kaepernick’s protests haved posted videos showing Nike products being destroyed, while the hashtag #BoycottNike has also been trending on Twitter.
Even President Donald Trump, who James once famously said uses sports to divide people, said Nike’s ad with Kaepernick “sends a terrible message” during an interview with conservative news outlet The Daily Caller.
However, the campaign has been received positively by LA Lakers guard LeBron James and 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams.
James shared the Nike ad on his Instagram account alongside his own caption that read: “Just. Do. It.” alongside an emoji of a black fist. James’ post has been liked almost 1.5 million times.
Williams, meanwhile, posted her own tweet the day after Nike dropped its Kaepernick ad.
Williams, herself a key part of Nike’s marketing strategy, said she was “especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today.”
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) September 4, 2018
Williams recently commended Kaepernick and free agent Eric Reid, an American footballer who – like Kaepernick – has been unable to find employment at NFL teams since taking a knee in protest.
“I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African American should be completely grateful and honoured how Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good,” Williams said at the US Open last week, according to the Washington Post.
“They really use their platform in ways that [are] really unfathomable. I feel like they obviously have great respect from a lot of their peers, especially other athletes, people that really are looking for social change.”
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