People are threatening to boycott Nike and buy Adidas and New Balance in response to a new ad starring Colin Kaepernick

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderNike’s Colin Kaepernick ad is sparking boycott threats.
  • Nike is seeing backlash online following the release of a new ad starring Colin Kaepernick. Some critics are threatening to boycott the brand.
  • Kaepernick was the first to kneel during the national anthem before NFL games to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
  • People quickly began threatening to boycott Nike in response to the ad, with some even burning their shoes.

Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad is sparking threats of boycott, with critics saying they will be shopping for shoes from New Balance, Under Armour, or Adidas instead.

On Monday, Kaepernick shared an image of his face on Twitter with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike retweeted the image, which reportedly kicks off a new multiyear deal between the former NFL player and the sportswear company.

Kaepernick was first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Some have accused Kaepernick and players who followed in his footsteps as disrespecting the American flag and the military. Among the most prominent critics is President Donald Trump, who began criticising the practice last September and has called for protesting players to be fired.

Nike’s ad sparked boycott threats online.

https://twitter.com/VeazeyJohn/status/1036768949655023617?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

https://twitter.com/honaskidesign/status/1036757768580091904?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

Nike’s Facebook page has been flooded with criticism of the ad.

“Just bought a pair of nikes yesterday not knowing about this, but NOW I will be returning them!!!” one comment says. “Bad choice your company made!! People who truly love this country will not be buying your product!”

“Guess what my son is NOT getting for school this year… No more Nike purchases by this Patriotic Mum!” another says.

Some critics of the ad pledged to spend more money with Nike’s rivals. Two competitors, however – Adidas and Puma – reportedly considered signing Kaepernick themselves.

A few people even posted photos of themselves destroying Nike shoes and socks. The destruction inspired mockery on the left, with at least one observer noting that homeless veterans’ groups could use donations of unwanted Nike products.

As is often the case, many supporters of the ad spoke out on social media to say the controversy only made them more likely to buy more Nike products.

Nike did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment on the boycott threats.

The business repercussions of Kaepernick’s ad are unclear. While many boycotts have proved to be empty threats with little impact on sales, a few – such as a 2016 boycott of Target – have actually affected companies’ bottom lines.

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