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Nike Takes A Knee For Kaepernick, White Outrage Ensues

Nike announced Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The former 49ers quarterback began kneeling during the national anthem almost two years ago amid continued racial inequities and police brutality, particularly toward Black men and women.

Social media exploded with (mostly white) folks condemning Kaepernick — sparking a “boycott” of Nike that included burning their sneakers — sneakers they had already bought and owned.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” was what Kaepernick told NFL Media two years ago. It's one of the few times Kaepernick has spoken publically about the matter. Since then as the New York Times observed, "The former star is using social media savvy, and a total lack of interviews, to control the narrative of protests in the N.F.L."

Other NFL players and many athletes from around the country have taken a knee in solidarity in the ensuing years prompting President Donald Trump to attack the players referring to them as “son[s] of bitches” and urging NFL team owners to fire them.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017 and hasn’t found a team since. “To me this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” Kaepernick has said.

Kaepernick tweeted the new ad with the words, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.”

Nike is the NFL’s official uniform sponsor.

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