Nike touched off a firestorm of controversy this week, when they announced that original anthem protester Colin Kaepernick would be the face of their “Just Do It” ad campaign.
Now Nike appears ready to throw gasoline on that fire by airing the first installment of Kaepernick’s ad campaign during Thursday night’s NFL season opener on NBC.
Nike unveiled the first commercial in a tweet on Thursday:
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 5, 2018
Kaepernick appears a couple times during the ad, but narrates the entire commercial.
According to USA Today, “The ad features LeBron James, Serena Williams, the U.S. women’s national soccer team, Canadian national team/MLS soccer player and African refugee Alphonso Davies and Shaquill Griffin, a one-handed former University of Central Florida linebacker who made the Seattle Seahawks’ roster last weekend.”
Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL earlier this year alleging that the league’s owners had conspired under pressure from President Trump, to keep him out of the league. The former 49er’s legal team won their summary judgment case against the league last week, meaning that the case can now proceed to the trial phase.
The NFL changed their anthem policy in May, requiring all players on the field to stand and show respect during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. However, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the league, accusing the NFL of not including them in the decision making process. The NFL then suspended the enforcement provisions of the new rule, until the two sides could come to a compromise on a new rule.
Yet, with the regular season set to begin in just two days, no such compromise has been reached.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn