Jerry C. Davis, the president of College of the Ozarks in Missouri, said on "Fox & Friends" Friday that Nike is "exploiting" the issue of national anthem protests by NFL players, including Kaepernick, in order to make money.
Nike revealed Kaepernick as their spokesman on Wednesday for the 30th anniversary of their "Just Do It" campaign. And, of course, President Donald Trump's inevitable Twitter firebomb - as reliable as the sunrise.
The 90-second ad showed a variety of athletes, including the Lakers' LeBron James and tennis star Serena Williams, and it ended with the slogan: "It's only insane until you do it".
While the motto of the ad is "Don't ask if your dreams are insane, ask if they're insane enough" - many have honed into the one that tells Kaepernick's story: "Believe in something, even if it means losing everything". "Even it if means sacrificing everything".
At the start of the ad, Kaepernick says: "If people say your dreams are insane, if they laugh at what you think you can do, good".
The ad hits on the protests Kaepernick started in 2016, when he began kneeling during the National Anthem before NFL games as a means of raising awareness and protesting racial inequality in America, and the shooting deaths of unarmed black men, women and children by police officers.
The endorsement deal between Nike and Kaepernick prompted a flood of debate. He hasn't played since the end of the 2016 season, and has a lawsuit against the National Football League and its owners, saying that they worked together to keep him from playing.
That didn't deter Nike from airing its first TV ad of the campaign Thursday. THAT is sacrificing everything for something you believe in. The complaint, brought by Shiva Stein, Alison Sherman and Lisa Udine and seeking $20 million in damages, accused Nike of widespread bullying and gender discrimination of female employees, as detailed in numerous news reports.
"There was speculation that the Nike/Kaepernick campaign would lead to a drop in sales, but our data over the last week does not support that theory", the company said in a statement obtained by Fortune magazine.
PGA Championship victor and two-time U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka said the biggest victor might be the publicity sparked for Nike.
The men who have followed in Kaepernick's footsteps say they are not protesting the anthem itself, they are demonstrating during the anthem.
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