Nike Ads to Feature Embattled Quarterback Kaepernick

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

It contains the message: "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything".

In 2017, he filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging the league conspired to keep him out because of his protests.

Kaepernick has been endorsed by Nike since 2011, though the company has, until now, stayed quiet about his history of protest.

That remained true on Monday following the release of his new Nike campaign.

The NFL's 2018-19 season begins Thursday, Sept. 6.

Kaepernick was the first in a series of National Football League (NFL) stars to kneel during the U.S. national anthem before matches.

Nike's campaign also includes ads featuring Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr. and Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who has made an inspirational run to the league despite missing one hand due to complications from amniotic band syndrome as a child.

Players responded by protesting en masse. An arbitrator ruled last week that Kaepernick's case will go to trial.

Nike has kept Kaepernick on the payroll throughout the entire saga, presumably waiting to feature him in a powerful and meaningful campaign like the one above.

Following the controversy, franchise owners agreed a new policy that requires plays to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field.

On Saturday, Williams praised Kaepernick and former 49ers' defensive back Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick as one of the first to protest through kneeling and who is now also without an National Football League team.

Nike has a strong, long-standing relationship with the NFL.

While Kaepernick doesn't have many supporters in National Football League front offices, he does still have one major backer in the sports world: Nike. He is now suing the NFL claiming he is being kept out of the league because of his part in the protests.

Colin Kaepernick has a new deal with Nike, even without having a job in the NFL.



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