Serena Williams and More Stars React to Colin Kaepernick's Controversial Nike Ad
By Zach Seemayer
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Colin Kaepernick is the face of Nike's latest ad campaign, and it has some people riled up.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of their iconic "Just Do It" slogan, the new ads feature a close up of the NFL star's face, with the words, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."
Now that the 30-year-old free agent has signed on to lend his name and image to Nike, the same conservatives who vehemently slammed Kaepernick's politically charged form of public protest are now directing their ire toward the shoe company.
Some of the more rabid Kaepernick critics decided to start burning their own Nikes to show their anger, while others -- like country musician John Rich of Big & Rich -- took to Instagram to show that others are simply defacing their Nike gear in protest of the company's iconic swoosh logo.
"Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions," Rich wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of his soundman's now structurally unsound socks.
Some critics tried to start a boycott of Nike, and the following day the company suffered a 3 percent drop in stock prices -- however, even after the drop the company's shares are still the highest they've been in a year.
While outspoken conservatives continue to rail against Nike and Kaepernick, many people from the world of sports, politics and entertainment have come out in support of the ad campaign, including the NFL itself.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the NFL's Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Jocelyn Moore, said, "The National Football League believes in dialog, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities. The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action."
The NFL has released a statement on social justice, saying the issues that Colin Kaepernick and others have raised deserve attention and action. pic.twitter.com/QfmEUkXdjT
Comedian and actor D.L. Hughley voiced support for Kaepernick as well, and at the same time called out what he feels is hypocrisy among those calling for a boycott, since they are essentially trying to protest against Kaepernick's right to protest.
"If UR mad over #ColinKaepernick as the face of #Nike but were silent when he became the face of police brutality, UR a hypocrite. #Kaepernick protested injustice w/ his #TakeAKnee stand. UR #NikeBoycott is a protest against a protest. Nothing to do w/ the flag or anthem," Hughley tweeted.
Meanwhile, fellow athlete Serena Williams shared a photo from her own Nike campaign -- featuring a photo of herself as a little girl playing tennis with the message, "It’s only a crazy dream until you do it."
Williams tweeted that she's "especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today."
The score of supports who are vocally standing behind Nike and Kaepernick's politically charged team-up also includes Kobe Bryant, Russell Crowe, House of Cards star Michael Kelly, Common, and many others.
Half of Puerto Rico doesn't have power, there is a water crisis in Flint, and too many people in this country cant afford food today. If we put one ounce of the energy behind the #NikeBoycott behind an issue that actually mattered, we could solve it in a week. Wanna #MAGA? Focus.