Nike is holding firm — even though it appears on dangerous turf these days.
After releasing an initial ad with former quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s face and the phrase “Stand for something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” the athletic gear company received criticism from many, such as Taya Kyle, widow of late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, and President Donald Trump.
“Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!” wrote the president Wednesday on his Twitter account.
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Kyle took to Facebook to suggest that she was joining in on growing boycotts of the athletic gear company.
She also mentioned Pat Tillman, the late NFL player who dropped his sports contract to become an Army Ranger, as a real example of “sacrifice.”
Two-time Academy Award nominee James Woods also publicly dropped stock in the company and encouraged others to do the same — the company’s stock took a dive on the day the ad campaign was announced.
Nike continues to anger fans as it’s now doubled down on its Kaepernick partnership and released a new ad narrated by the former San Francisco 49ers player — who is also responsible for starting the controversial national anthem kneeling protests in the NFL.
Folks have been taking to social media to express their outrage with the company and its over-the-top celebration of Kaepernick.
— Mark 🇺🇸 #Ohio (@Lathenerd) September 6, 2018
@Nike has gained a lot of free press over the @Kaepernick7 fiasco. But they have also unwittingly drawn attention to their disgusting slave labor practices in China and even worse, shined a spotlight in the use of slave labor in North Korea, shipped thru China. Not too bright. https://t.co/f1RpdhWd7E
— DollyMadison25 (@Buttercookie25) September 6, 2018
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— ENGLISHMAN🏴 Enoch Churchill Robinson (@dappa85) September 6, 2018
You went from being a no-name qb sitting on the bench to having an ad campaign with Nike.
You sacrificed NOTHING!
The men who died for your right to disrespect the flag & anthem, they sacrificed everything.
— Carlos Frazier (@CarlosFrazier_) September 6, 2018
Won’t watch commercial, @NFL game or buy anything @Nike owns or watch @KingJames or Williams play tennis, ….but will stand for my flag and anthem and praise our law enforcement, veterans always 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
— Maxine AG (@maxine41823) September 6, 2018
The president drew a connection between the NFL and Nike. The NFL saw a dip in its ratings and mass protests due to its mishandling of national anthem protests last season. Now Nike is also losing the trust of many fans — and the company is watching as potential customers rush to other companies.
What’s ironic is that Colin Kaepernick was the man who inspired people to begin boycotting the NFL, and now he’s the one inspiring people to boycott Nike.
And now, on Thursday afternoon, come reports that a sporting goods store in Colorado — Prime Time Sports in Colorado Springs — is vowing to quit selling Nike products as a result of all of this. “I gotta do what I gotta do,” said owner Steve Martin about his decision. He adamantly disagrees with Nike’s decision, as Breitbart reported.
Check out Kaepernick’s latest Nike ad below:
This story has been updated.