Colin Kaepernick's Nike ad prompts strong reactions on social media

Colin Kaepernick's protests against racial injustice have become a bitterly divisive issue amongst NFL fans

Kaepernick fronts Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ ad campaign AFP 3 Sep 2018

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick pumps his fist as he acknowledges the cheers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 24, 2016.

As outraged Nike customers burned products in protest over the campaign, Brady "liked" several pictures of it that were posted on Instagram by Lebron James, Kevin Durant, GQ and Chris Paul.

There has been a backlash from American conservatives online, with videos ad photos of Nike products being burned and destroyed popping up under the hashtag #Justburnit - a play on the Just Do It slogan.

This message has already been retweeted hundreds of thousands of times by the players many supporters, despite calls from Trump for the National Football League to fire players who disrespect the American flag. Even if it means sacrificing everything.' Kaepernick caused controversy while playing for the San Francisco 49ers by refusing to stand during the national anthem - leading Trump to call him (and others who later joined) "sons of bitches".

But now spokeswoman for Nike, Sandra Carreon-John, said: "Colin has been a Nike athlete since 2011".

Nike released the following statement about Kaepernick's involvement in the campaign and the reason he was chosen along with five other athletes, via ESPN.

Fans have been burning clothes, cutting off the trademark Nike swoosh, and calling for a boycott in protest at the new deal with the quarterback, who has not yet signed a deal for this season.

As a direct result, it has been reported that shares in the Oregon-based Nike Inc. fell more than 2 percent, reportedly as much as around 2.85 percent. He's technically not a league employee at the moment, which means Nike isn't interfering with its partner's business.

The US leader has repeated those criticisms frequently over the past year, even suggesting at one stage that protesting players "shouldn't be in the country".

"Nike is not a stranger for backing sporting personalities who take views and act on them".

"Nike cares most about the category influencers and tastemakers - almost all of whom will embrace their decision", said Howe Burch, the former head of USA marketing for Reebok. The company said it planned to bring him back at the right time.

National Football League and Nike have also extended their partnership until 2028, with Nike providing all National Football League teams with game-day kits and sideline clothing.

Nike is the NFL's official apparel sponsor and manufactures the jerseys and game day apparel worn by all 32 franchises.

The quarterback is now suing the league, accusing its owners of colluding to keep him out of the league.

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