Former 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be featured in Nike's new “Just Do It” campaign to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the brand’s iconic motto. Kaepernick unveiled the ad on Twitter Monday. The slogan said “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike’s controversial pick is getting mixed reaction.
Dr. Harry Edwards is a longtime confidant of Kaepernick and consulted him during his 49er days.
“I feel good about it,” said Dr. Edwards. “I think he's appropriate. I think he's this generation's Muhammed Ali.”
He said the slogan is what Kaepernick knows all too well. Kaepernick protested racial injustice in 2016 by kneeling during the National Anthem. He’s now suing the NFL for colluding to keep him out of the league.
Howard Combs is a marketing professor at San Jose State and said, while the slogan is good, he doesn't think Kaepernick is the best person to give it.
“Nike has chosen someone that's pretty divisive and I think the timing is another issue here,” said Combs. “It's coming right after John McCain’s funeral. I think many people are looking to bring people together and try to work more cooperatively. He’s viewed as a very polarizing figure so there will be people who love it and some people who don't like it at all.”
Nike signed Kaepernick in 2011 and said, “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of the sport to help move the world forward.”
“I’m not sure it would make me want to buy it, but that's an intriguing ad,” said Mike Shadduck of Los Altos. “It makes you think.”
“It doesn't make me want to buy Nike because I’m not a fan of his,” said Kristin Shadduck of Los Atlos.
“I would definitely be much more open to Nike because they are open to him,” said Virginia Gelczis of Sunnyvale.
Tennis Star Serena Williams who is helping kick off Nike's 30th anniversary campaign wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that she's especially proud to be a part of the Nike family.