- Tom Brady appeared to signal his support for Colin Kaepernick’s new Nike ad with a series of “likes” on Instagram on Tuesday.
- Kaepernick has been the subject of controversy since 2016 when he became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem before games to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
- Some on the right have criticised Kaepernick for his actions, with President Donald Trump saying last year that players who kneel during the anthem should be fired.
- Brady has long been friendly with Trump but has opposed the president’s condemnation of the protests.
Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback who has maintained a friendly relationship with President Donald Trump, appears to be signalling support for Colin Kaepernick following a controversial Nike ad.
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 is said to kick off a new multiyear deal between the former NFL player and the sportswear company.
The ad quickly sparked controversy. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Some have accused him and other players who followed in his footsteps of disrespecting the American flag and the US military. Trump last year said that players who kneel during the anthem should be fired.
However, on Tuesday, Kaepernick appeared to receive support from an unexpected source: Brady.
Brady liked several Instagram posts of the Nike ad featuring Kaepernick. According to TMZ, the NFL star liked posts praising the ad from the accounts of LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and GQ.
A representative for the quarterback did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Brady’s apparent social-media support of Kaepernick is especially noteworthy because of his relationship with Trump. The two have been friendly since the early 2000s, with Trump once reportedly trying to set Brady up with his eldest daughter, Ivanka. Brady even had a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker in 2015.
In 2017, Brady spoke out against Trump’s condemnation of players who kneel during the national anthem as part of the protest.
And in an interview in June, Brady told Oprah Winfrey: “I respect why people are doing what they’re doing. And they’re doing it for different reasons, and that’s OK. You know, you can do things for your reason. They can do things for their reason, and you have respect for that. But I thought it was great.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.