Why some people are burning their Nike shoes (or pretending to)

An American football player, who sparked outrage after kneeling during the national anthem, has been unveiled as the face of Nike’s new campaign, causing threats of boycott.San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is appearing in the sports brand giant’s ‘Just Do It’ 30th anniversary campaign, alongside the likes of Serena Williams.

In 2016, Kaepernick knelt as the national anthem played in a protest against police violence against African-Americans.

At the time, President Donald Trump lambasted Kaepernick, and the other players who followed suit, calling them “sons of b*tches” for their “disrespect” to the US flag.

<span>Nike’s casting of Colin Kaepernick in their new campaign has sparked boycott. [Photo: Nike]</span>
Nike’s casting of Colin Kaepernick in their new campaign has sparked boycott. [Photo: Nike]

Trump, and his legions of supporters, even called for the players to be sacked.

On Monday, the sports star unveiled his controversial Nike campaign which depicts him beside the slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt

A post shared by colin kaepernick (@kaepernick7) on Sep 3, 2018 at 12:20pm PDT

Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of branding for North America, was quoted by ESPN as saying: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.”

Now, Nike’s new casting is causing some to threaten to burn and deface their Nikes, with some using the hashtags #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt on social media in protest.

However, many others were in full support of Nike’s choice to use Kapernick.

Kaepernick has not played in the National Football League (NFL) since 2017, and is in the process of suing the organisation on the grounds that owners froze him out due to his activism.

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