Rick Zamperin: Bold move by Nike to include Colin Kaepernick in Just Do It campaign

Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears as a face of Nike Inc. advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan in this image released by Nike in Beaverton, Ore., on Sept. 4. Courtesy Nike/Handout via REUTERS

Nike’s stock price fell more than three per cent on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday after the company announced its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” advertising campaign will include Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick was under contract with the shoe and sporting apparel giant, and that expiring agreement was recently renegotiated into a multi-year deal to make him one of the faces of the ad campaign.

So when the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback posted a Nike ad featuring his face and wrote, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt” it was no surprise that it triggered a response.

I understand the shade thrown his way and the support he continues to receive after the stance — or knee — that he took a couple of years ago to protest social injustice.

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Kaepernick gave rise to an issue that most definitely needed to be discussed, but unfortunately for him and the National Football League, many people didn’t like how he went about doing it — kneeling during the U.S. national anthem before kickoff.

The issue is still a hot potato today for the league.

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The regular season begins Thursday night and the NFL still hasn’t decided what punishment players will receive should they demonstrate during the Star Spangled Banner.

Even though Nike might take a financial hit for including Kaepernick in its advertising, I think it’s a bold stance and falls in line with the most successful ad campaign in the history of sports.

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