When Colin Kaepernick officially became the next face of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, the mixed bag of reactions ranged from complete solidarity with the black-listed ex-NFL star to the total destruction of all Nike products. You’d better get comfortable because Kaepernick and Nike aren’t going anywhere.
Opinions have rained down from all parts of the country, but the most talked about always comes from Washington. President Donald Trump has called out the NFL and its owners for their handling of the anthem protests in the past, and he would oppose his character to not take to social media to comment on Nike’s latest advertising campaign.
In an interview with The Daily Caller, Trump laid it all out on the line. He gave his personal stance on the issue, then turned politician to cover all his bases.
“I think it’s a terrible message. Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent,” Trump said.
The real estate mogul turned 45th President of the United States was referring to Niketown New York, which happens to reside inside a Trump-owned property.
President Trump is never short on criticism for how the league handled these protests over the last two years. In August, he tweeted, “Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”
Regardless of the negative press, Nike’s decision to make Kaepernick the face of the 30th anniversary of the campaign is a double down on Kaepernick’s public image, hopeful that their ad campaign will set them on the right side of history.
“But I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it,” Trump said, “but I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it.”
The protests stemmed former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s display starting back during the 2016 NFL preseason, when he began sitting during the anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality systemic in America.
Nate Boyer, a former NFL player and Army Green Beret, advised Kaepernick to begin kneeling to better respect armed service members, but people seem to forget that.
Despite all the backlash, Trump made sure to address the gray area that Kaepernick-admirers lean on in support of the message behind the anthem protest.
“In another way, it is what this country is all about,” Trump said. “That you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”
Is the time and place of the protest, kneeling during the National Anthem, misguided? Probably.
Is the message behind the protest unwarranted? No way.
There are thousands of opinions on the issue, but with Nike bringing Colin Kaepernick back into the spotlight with their new ad campaign, you can bet that everyone will be voicing their opinion for a long time.