Nike’s choice of The Human Lightning Rod, also known as former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, to feature in its 30th annual “Just Do It” marketing campaign has set off big-time ripples: the company’s stock took a hit, people bickered over the giant billboard plastered with the QB’s mug and peering down on San Francisco’s Union Square, and President Trump blasted Nike for feting a player who in 2016 angered millions of Americans when he took a protest knee during The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The Nike campaign has also triggered a boatload of passionate tweets from all sides in the debate, accompanied by online memes created especially for the occasion:
— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) September 5, 2018
So if Kaepernick was in a Ford or General Motors commercial, would you set fire to your car? I didn’t think so. There are other ways to protest things without being destructive. You could donate those shoes to someone in need. You have a freedom to protest. But be smart about it.
— Jack Bullock (@abaselineview) September 5, 2018
— cmoney (@cmoney300bandz) September 5, 2018
I don’t realize I had so many @Nike thanks for your statement! @Kaepernick7 you are a true American. We know you respect our flag and America. Let’s all respect each other. We are on the same team…We the People! Never again, I the person…. pic.twitter.com/MoUz4XUWzm
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 5, 2018
the American flag stands for freedom, equality and justice for all. we are DISRESPECTING the flag when we allow racial and social injustice to thrive. imo @Kaepernick7 is RESPECTING the flag by kneeling and fighting to uphold its principles and values. #ImWithKap pic.twitter.com/oheDps1uPi
— katarina waters (@katarinasinfamy) September 5, 2018
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Can’t believe Colin Kaepernick is the new face of Nike pic.twitter.com/Je2E9qRr33
— Tim Baker (@T_bakes2) September 5, 2018