Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick landed on the cover for the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign.

The ad, featuring the new face of Nike, displays a black-and-white close-up of Kaepernick’s face with the caption, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Harry Edwards, sports sociologist who helped create the Olympic Project for Human Rights, said, “The Nike involvement turns on two things. One, it’s a good business deal. Second, it’s also the role of corporations and difficult times to step into the breach and remind us of who we are and what we stand for, in respective of where

we are.”

The ad references Kaepernick’s silent protest during the 2016 football

season.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick stated on NFL.com. “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.” 

San Jose State football head coach Brent Brennan said, “[The ad] has helped discussion on where we are at as a country and the things he is trying to bring attention to. It’s a really interesting thing that he is talking about, and that our players are talking about. It’s a good time to

[talk about it].”

On Aug. 14, 2016, Kaepernick sat down during the anthem before the 49ers’ third preseason game. After Kaepernick was accused of being anti-military and anti-American, he met with former Green Beret, Nate Boyer, to make sure his message was getting across without disrespecting troops. 

According to Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Boyer said, “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave; to show respect. When we’re on a patrol; and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”

On Sept. 1 2016, Kaepernick took a knee, 

A little over two years ago, Kaepernick announced his involvement with Nike.

 “I think it’s important for everybody to speak for or against issues they feel are important,” Brennan said. You get the opportunity to say how you feel about things that you’re passionate about or are important to you so whether it’s an athlete, a student or

the media.” 

Edwards said, “He will take his place alongside other athlete icons in the history of western civilizations. Not because of what he did on the field, but because of what he [did] in terms of human rights at great sacrifice.”

Nike’s deal with Kaepernick immediately resulted in the stock dropping 2.60 (-3.16 percent) a day after the announcement. However, according to Edison Trends, Nike sales grew 31 percent from Sunday through Tuesday over the Labor Day holiday this year compared with the previous year.

According to Sporting News, The NFL released a statement last Tuesday stating, “[The National Football League] embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities. The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”

Edwards said, “A nation that was founded on an idea…it still comes down in to a fundamental faith, that we as a society are better than what we are now. Otherwise, Kaepernick would have just taken his check and forgotten about [people’s rights]…except for one thing, [he] believes in and cares about this country.”

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