Colin Kaepernick featured in new Nike ad campaign

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"It is a business calculation that the Kaepernick jersey even after he stopped playing in the National Football League has still been a good if not best-selling jersey for Nike", she explained, adding that "because almost a dozen people have left Nike because of complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior that this is a way for them to draw attention away from that and to the new spokesman of their campaign".

Nike has sensationally unveiled Colin Kaepernick as the central face of their new ad campaign, one that marks the 30th anniversary of their iconic 'Just Do It' slogan.

Nike is certainly provoking debate by hiring Kaepernick, GlobalData Retail managing director Neil Saunders said in a report, while noting the risks of a company getting involved in a "highly politicized" issue.

Nike's campaign also includes ads featuring Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr. and Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who plays professional football despite missing one hand due to complications from amniotic band syndrome as a child.

Fox News political analyst Gianno Caldwell said Colin Kaepernick and other athletes have a right to protest during the national anthem, but if they're serious about effecting change, they should take concrete action.

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Supporting disruptive athletes has always been a part of Nike's marketing, dating to the early 1970s and runner Steve Prefontaine, the company's first athlete endorser.

Working with Kaepernick lets the company shift its own controversy to an area where it can seem like a principled victor to many.

Nike's decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the face of its latest advertising campaign has some sports fans burning with rage.

He has since filed a lawsuit against the NFL's league owners, alleging that they colluded to keep him from being signed to a new team amid the controversy.

Nike's sponsorship deal ensures the issue of the national anthem and player protests will re-emerge during the coming season, increasing pressure on the NFL to broker a solution. A similar grievance is still pending by unsigned safety Eric Reid, who played with Kaepernick in San Francisco and joined in the protests.

Kaepernick's protests have garnered him support as well as criticism around the world. "Colin is not now employed by an NFL team and has no contractual obligations to the NFL", Nike spokesperson Sandra Carreon-John said.

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