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Conservatives Burn Their Nike Gear in Response to Colin Kaepernick Ad

Right-wingers lose their minds.


Nike has debuted a powerful new ad starring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — a bold move for the athletics brand in alignment with the movement of NFL players protesting during the national anthem.


Related | Serena Williams: Athletes Should Be Grateful For Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid

Kaepernick is one of several major players appearing in Nike's 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign, which also features Serena Williams, LeBron James, Odell Beckham Jr., Shaquem Griffin, and Lacey Baker.

Kaepernick's last endorsement through Nike was in 2011, but he has notably not appeared in ads recently, as his protest movement gained momentum through the NFL in recent years. In response to the heat Kaepernick was receiving, he dropped out of the 49ers before they could cut him; he has since said that he believed the NFL was conspiring to keep him out of the league. Kaepernick has since been granted a full hearing by an arbitrator (to occur this game season), who believes the star athlete has enough evidence of the alleged conspiracy for his case.

Nike's inclusion of Kaepernick in the new ad campaign appears to be a savvy business move as well, as ESPN correspondent Jemele Hill points out (see tweets below). It has been reported that a multi-year deal is in the works, which will apparently include a new Kaepernick-produced shoe and T-shirt. Nike is also reported to be a donor to Kaepernick's "Know Your Rights" self-empowerment initiative, according to The New York Times.

Also worth noting: regardless of the Kaepernick endorsement and what it means politically and business-wise, Nike has a long-standing relationship with the NFL; the global entity is the NFL's official apparel provider since 2012 and will reportedly continue to supply uniforms to the league's 32 teams through 2028.

Further, when President Trump started attacking the league and its protesters last season, Nike responded with a statement, reading in part that it "supports athletes and their right to freedom of expression on issues that are of great importance to our society."

But of course because the Internet can't pass up a moment of controversy, and right-wing "lovers of liberty" are destroying their Nike merch in protest of the brand's inclusion of Kaepernick in its new ads, and posting it on social media. You can see a sampling of the insanity for yourself, below.

Others made a show of support of Nike's ads; the user below holds a flame over dozens of Nike shoes, before placing it in a candle, thanking Nike for having "good morals."

Otherwise, look at baby Serena Williams go. She and Kaepernick both are living proof that all of this — backlash included — are but a crazy dream until you dare to do something great.

Photo via Getty

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