'Just do it' ad campaign taps protest leader

Sports | 5 Sep 2018

Colin Kaepernick, the first NFL player to kneel during the US national anthem as a protest against racism, was chosen by Nike Inc as one of the faces for advertisements commemorating the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan, a move that could draw President Donald Trump's ire.

The campaign was unveiled last week with the release of a film featuring Serena Williams entitled Voice of Belief.

Other athletes featured in the ad campaign include New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, skateboarder Lacey Baker and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who is an amputee with one hand.

Former NFL quarterback Kaepernick posted a black-and-white close-up of himself on Instagram and Twitter featuring the Nike logo and "Just do it" slogan along with the quote: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

"We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward," said Gino Fisanotti, the company's vice president of brand for North America.

Kaepernick was a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers for six years. He stirred controversy by taking a knee while the anthem was played before games during the NFL's 2016 season. He did it to draw attention to police killings of black men and other issues.

The anthem protests, soon embraced by other players, raised the ire of some NFL fans and Trump.

Kaepernick and another former 49ers player, Eric Reid, have not been signed by any of the NFL's 32 teams since their protests spread around the league.

REUTERS

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