September 3, 2018 update: According to a SportsCenter tweet, Colin Kaepernick has been signed to Nike as a player since 2011.
Read the original story below.
Nike today (September 3, 2018) revealed ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick as the past of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
The image was revealed by sports journalist Darrell Rovell, who wrote in the caption, “BREAKING: Nike had been paying Colin Kaepernick all along, waiting for the right moment. That moment is now, as he becomes the face of the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign.”
Reading between the lines of Rovell’s tweet, it appears Nike has had an ongoing contract with Kaepernick but was waiting to reveal the news.
Opening day for the NFL kicks off on September 6, 2018 and Kaepernick is still not signed. He last played professional for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 season. In an effort to protest racial injustice, during the 2016 season he began sitting, then switched to kneeling during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
In an interview in August 2016, he explained, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick and others believe that the NFL as an entity conspired not to sign him because of his role in making protest statements during the national anthem. Recently, the 30-year-old Kaepernick won the summary judgement phase in his collusion case versus the NFL, a development revealed by his lawyer, Mark Geragos, on Twitter.
Nike is a sponsor of the NFL and as such a decision to support Kaepernick will be viewed as controversial especially among conservative fans of the game. In a June poll, Quinnipiac found 58 percent of Americans are okay with NFL players kneeling during the playing of the “National Anthem.” However, among Republican voters 70 percent said players who kneel to protest police violence and social injustice are not patriots.
Check out Rovell’s tweet below along with the full campaign image.
BREAKING: Nike had been paying Colin Kaepernick all along, waiting for the right moment. That moment is now, as he becomes the face of the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. pic.twitter.com/uccpDStbq5
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 3, 2018
“Just Do It”