Nike’s decision to make Colin Kaepernick the face of a new ad campaign has drawn plenty of strong reactions, and one of them already has ties to ESPN.
After Nike debuted its new “Just Do It” campaign on Sunday, a sound production worker for the band Big & Rich decided to protest the sports apparel company by cutting the Swoosh logo off his socks.
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
As you may know, Big & Rich’s song “Comin’ to Your City” has become the theme song for ESPN’s “College GameDay.” The song plays at various points during the broadcast and the band has performed it live in several cities.
Nike has kept Kaepernick under contract even though he has been unable to find work in the NFL. Kaepernick has been with Nike since 2011, and the details of the current endorsement deal are pretty noteworthy.
Nike decided to drop a major bomb on Labor Day, announcing a new 30th anniversary campaign headlined by Colin Kaepernick. The ads promote their “Just Do It” slogan with a powerful message: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Now some details surrounding the deal have been revealed.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reports that Kaepernick will have his own branded line of gear including shoes, shirts, jerseys and more. He also says that Kaepernick’s deal is a “star” deal worth millions per year and includes royalties on sales.
Details on Kaepernick and #Nike:
– It’s wide endorsement. He’s going to have his own branded line. Shoes, shirts, jerseys, etc. There will be Kaepernick apparel.
– Contract is a “star” deal on par with a top end #NFL player. Millions per year. Star deals also include royalties.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 3, 2018
Kaepernick has been with Nike since 2011, which was the year he entered the NFL. According to Robinson, this is a new deal that was negotiated by Kaepernick’s new legal representation. Interest from other shoe companies apparently sprung Nike into action.
A lot behind the curtain here. @Nike had Kaepernick since 2011 but this is actually a new deal done by Kaepernick’s reps @markgeragos & @meiselasb. Nike sat on Kaepernick for 2 years w/ no idea what to do with him. Interest from other shoe companies absolutely changed their tune. https://t.co/IJJnjxWHLS
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 3, 2018
Mark Geragos is representing Kaepernick in his collusion case against the NFL, which recently had a positive development.
The ads have been met with predictable levels of controversy and have made Nike a dominant topic of conversation.
- Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick has kept his endorsement deal with Nike even as he has been unable to find work in the NFL for well over a year, and the sports apparel juggernaut has unveiled a powerful new campaign featuring the quarterback.
On Monday, Nike debuted a series of intense “Just Do It” ads to commemorate the 30th year of the popular slogan being coined. Kaepernick is one of the faces of the campaign with a powerful image that reads “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr. and NFL rookie Shaquem Griffin are among the other athletes who are featured:
Awesome new Nike “Just Do It” ads pic.twitter.com/JFaAfm3ize
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 3, 2018
The timing of Nike’s release speaks volumes, as we recently learned Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL is set to go to trial. Kaepernick, of course, began the movement of kneeling during the national anthem, and we were reminded of how much support he still has with the way fans reacted to him attending the US Open over the weekend.
The loudest cheers of the night during the Serena vs. Venus Williams match at the US Open on Friday came for a couple of football players.
Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, who are both suing the NFL for allegedly colluding against them, were in attendance for the match in Queens. They received loud cheers when shown on the big screen at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) September 1, 2018
Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are at tonight’s #USOpen match between Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Loud cheer when they were shown on the Arthur Ashe Stadium Jumbotron.
— Stanley Kay (@citizen_kay) September 1, 2018
Largest cheer at Arthur Ashe stadium other than the introductions of @Venuseswilliams & @serenawilliams were for @Kaepernick7 and @E_Reid35. Rousing ovation when they were shown on the big screen. #USOpen2018
— Donnovan Bennett (@donnovanbennett) September 1, 2018
Kaepernick scored a big victory in his legal case when an arbitrator declined to dismiss the complaint, sending it to trial. Kaepernick is entering his second season of not playing in the league despite being talented enough to do so. Reid, who was teammates with Kaepernick on the 49ers, filed a suit earlier this year alleging collusion. Unlike Kaepernick, he did play last season.
Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL is headed to trial.
Arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank, who had been hearing the NFL’s case to have Kaepernick’s complaint dismissed, denied the league’s request. Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos shared the statement from Burbank on the matter:
— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) August 30, 2018
Burbank decided that there was enough evidence from Kaepernick’s side to have the matter continue through the legal process.
Kaepernick is accusing the NFL owners of colluding against him. He has not been offered a playing contract since becoming a free agent in March 2017 even though most would agree he is more accomplished and talented than a number of other quarterbacks who have been signed during that period. Kaepernick is arguing that NFL owners are colluding against him because of his leadership role in kneeling during the national anthem.
- Colin Kaepernick
EA Sports apologized on Thursday over a Colin Kaepernick-related edit that appeared in their “Madden 19” video game.
Rapper Big Sean caused a controversy when he tweeted Thursday that EA had removed Kaepernick’s name from a verse on a track he recorded for the game.
It’s disappointing and appalling @NFL & @EA took @Kaepernick7’s name out of my verse on Big Bank for Madden 19, like it was a curse word. When he's not a curse, he's a gift! Nobody from my team approved any of this.
— Sean Don (@BigSean) August 2, 2018
After the story went viral, the video game company issued a statement about the matter in which they said they made a mistake and vowed to fix it.
“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack. Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect soundtracks.
“We messed up, and the edit should never have happened. We will make it right, with an update to Madden NFL 19 on August 6 that will include the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake.”
Their statement won’t change the minds of those who believe the edit was made due to Kaepernick’s political agenda, but at least all can acknowledge that EA is working quickly to fix the issue.
Training camp may not be the most exciting time of the NFL season, but it’s home to a lot of storylines and things to watch. There are players looking to prove themselves and others who want to push for opportunities during the regular season, as well as the annual camp battles at several positions for a number of teams.
So who should you be watching as training camp gets underway? Here’s a list of 15 players worth paying attention to.
1) Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
All eyes will be on Luck’s health as training camp gets underway. The hope is that his shoulder problems are finally behind him, though the Colts have made clear that they’re going to watch him closely and not push him too far too soon. He’ll be worth watching in camp not just for his health, but for the quality of his passing. It’s been a long time since Luck pushed himself. How sharp will the former No. 1 pick be?