Bickering Between Partisans Over Kaepernick Quiets After Soldiers Release Nike Photos

Company produces a line of boots, socks and backpacks for military members and first responders

Image Credit: Shutterstock

While many people across the U.S. are destroying their Nike shoes and other sports apparel — or threatening boycotts — because of the new Nike ad campaign featuring former quarterback and controversial anthem kneeler Colin Kaepernick, some in the military have also taken to Twitter in support of the company.

Nike produces a line of boots, socks, and backpacks for military members and first responders, called Special Field Systems.

These are worn by many individuals throughout the military.

Related: Chris Kyle’s Widow Has a Question for Nike Over Its Colin Kaepernick Ad Campaign

Various groups throughout every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces have approved the boots for use.

The company also makes a separate version that’s been approved for law enforcement throughout the U.S.

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After seeing the postings that Nike gear was being destroyed, Eric Willis, who is in the Army, posted on social media earlier this week, “I will continue to wear my NIKE ARMY boots, because like my fellow soldiers and those who have served before me, we ARE NOT disrespected by [Kaepernick]. We joined so that we can continue to let others voice their opinions.”

He included an image of his boot in the post.

His Twitter message received over 200,000 likes and dozens of responses from others in the military who agreed with his position.

Related: Christian College Gives Kaepernick the Boot as Taya Kyle Speaks Out

Many of these people replied with their own pictures of themselves wearing Nike’s military gear.

Tim Kennedy, a Special Forces sergeant and former UFC fighter, was a critic.

TMZ posted a video that it said showed Kennedy at his Army base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in which he said, “I’m in a room of a bunch of heroes that in a heartbeat would die for Colin [Kaepernick’s] right to do what he’s doing. That’s sacrifice. I’m not talking about giving away some position [as a football team member], even though I’m not good enough to fill it because I’m not very talented as a quarterback.”

Nate Boyer is a former NFL player and Army Special Forces veteran — and the person who originally proposed kneeling as a form of protest to Kaepernick.

“We take a knee to pray and propose to our wives. When people get knighted they take a knee — never really in history has kneeling been viewed as disrespectful,” he recently told ABC7.

As for the new ad, whose message is “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” Boyer said it’s controversial, especially for those who may have sacrificed a whole lot more in their lives than a football career.

“The ultimate sacrifice [is what] we talk about often, with respect to people who have lost their lives fighting for the very things that the flag and the anthem are supposed to represent.”

For more on this issue, check out this video below:

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