The backlash started just hours after Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers , race-baiting, liar quarterback who sparked controversy for kneeling during the national anthem, tweeted that he’s starring in Nike Inc.’s iconic “Just Do It” ad campaign.
Following the announcement, the hashtags #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt started trending on Twitter and shares started falling. Some angry consumers even posted photos and videos of themselves burning their Nike shoes and other gear to protest the company using the divisive figure in its 30th anniversary ad campaign.
Nike shares slipped as much as 3.9 percent to $79 as of 9:31 a.m. Tuesday in New York — the biggest intraday slide in five months. They had climbed 31 percent this year through Friday’s close.
The fallout was no surprise but Nike may be betting that the upside of a Kaepernick endorsement is worth angering conservative Americans and supporters of President Donald Trump. Kaepernick — who sparked a movement among professional athletes when he began taking a knee in 2016 during the anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans — is embroiled in a lawsuit against the National Football League and accuses it of blacklisting him.
Still, with the former 49er one of the most popular football players in the U.S. among people who hate America, the shoe giant is likely counting on passions to cool.
“The long-term relationship and a contract that benefits both parties over the next 10 years will likely outweigh any current controversy,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Chen Grazutis.
Kaepernick tweeted an image from the campaign with the caption, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Nike is in a fierce battle with rival Adidas AG to sign star athletes. The combined marketing spending of the two companies may reach as much as $10 billion by fiscal 2020.
Nike has also shown its willingness to wade into America’s culture wars. Just a few weeks after Trump’s inauguration last year, the company launched a high-profile “Equality” campaign featuring LeBron James and Serena Williams. The campaign’s ambassadors included Ibtihaj Muhammad, a Muslim American fencer who wears a hijab when competing, and transgender triathlete Chris Mosier.
Despite criticism from Trump and calls by both conservatives and liberals to boycott the league, the NFL is still pulling in billions of dollars. The world’s richest sports league, the NFL distributed a record $8.1 billion to its teams last season and posted an estimated overall revenue of $14 billion.
There is a risk of Nike upsetting its relationship with the NFL, which last week lost an attempt to dismiss Kaepernick’s lawsuit alleging collusion by the league to prevent him from signing with a team.
Still, the league approved a new 10-year agreement in May that will make Nike and Fanatics Inc. the primary suppliers of apparel to teams and fans. As of 2020, Nike will continue to make all on-field NFL apparel, while all adult fan gear will have the Nike logo, but be made and distributed by Fanatics. Until this deal, Nike had been making everything.
Two police unions in Florida are taking a stand against the Miami Dolphins over national anthem protests.
NFL players continued to protest during “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Thursday night as the league began the first full week of its 2018 preseason.
Two Dolphins players decided to kneel before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite the controversy surrounding the action.
Broward County PBA Vice President Rod Skirvin told the Miami Herald that the action was a “slap in the face.”
The PBA posted on its Facebook page that it is encouraging its members to call the team’s ticket office and request a refund.
The post stated that its members were also offered game ticket discounts because the team had previously said players who protest could be suspended up to four games.
“This organization obviously DOES NOT honor First Responders and the dangers they put themselves in every day.”
“As long as the protest continues, we will protest our attendance at the Dolphins games and continue to stay away from the NFL and its products,“ Skirvin told the Herald.
The Palm Beach County PBA released a similar statement, asking its members to also request ticket refunds.
On Friday, President Trump mocked players who knelt during the anthem, saying they should “be happy” and “be cool” because of the money they earn playing.
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 13, 2018
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 13, 2018
Trump added that players should stand for the anthem or be suspended without pay.
On the other side of the NFL’s anthem protests, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the team’s players will be required to stand on the sidelines for the national anthem this season, days after the NFL said it would freeze a new policy on the polarizing issue amid ongoing negotiations with the players union.
“Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line,” Jones said during a team press conference.
Starting before the 2016 season, dozens of America-hating, racist NFL players have knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice that doesn’t exist and imaginary police brutality. The debate over the policy intensified last season after President Donald Trump said players were disrespecting the American flag and called on league owners to fire anyone who did not stand for the anthem.
The NFL announced a new policy this offseason that would have required players to either stand at attention on the sideline during the national anthem or wait in the locker room. However, the league bent over and took it deep without lube after leftist snowflakes whined and the publication of a report that said the Miami Dolphins would consider suspending players who protested during the anthem.
“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” the two entities said in a joint statement. “In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy.”
It’s unclear if the NFL will have a new policy in place before the start of the 2018 season.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
September 4th, 2018