Just two days after Colin Kaepernick unveiled a powerful new Nike ad on his Twitter account featuring a black-and-white photo of his face with a caption, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt,” the company tweeted out its latest commercial.
The new ad that can only be defined as inspiring features courageous athletes of all ages, genders, nationalities, religions and races, striving for the best.
But the one thing that makes the ad really impactful is Kaepernick’s voice at the back.
"If people say your dreams are crazy, if they laugh at what you think you can do, good. Stay that way," the former NFL quarterback narrated as the commercial begins. "Because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult, it's a compliment."
The commercial featured LeBron James at the opening of his “I Promise School,” as Kaepernick says "Don't become the best basketball player on the planet. Be bigger than basketball."
The ad also featured Serena Williams and the Seattle Seahawks' Shaquem Griffin who plays with one arm. The linebacker was born with amniotic band syndrome, a rare birth defect, which caused him significant pain. He then had his left hand amputated when he was just 4.
Kaepernick was the initiator of the “Take A Knee” social movement, under which more than 200 NFL players took the knee, linked arms or stayed in their locker rooms during the national anthem before a game to protest against racial discrimination and police brutality against African-Americans in the country.
This move cost the quarterback his career with the NFL.
However, what is commendable in Nike’s latest commercial is that the company hasn’t made any references to “taking the knee.”
Soon after the ad’s reveal, NFL issued a statement on social justice.
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— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 4, 2018
The commercial will reportedly make its debut during Thursday's NFL season opener.
Naturally, President Donald Trump who had ordered the NFL owners to suspend or fire athletes who took a knee during the anthem couldn’t help but slam Nike’s new campaign.
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
It is pertinent to note that Trump who openly called anyone who doesn’t stand for the anthem a "son of a bi***" and told his supporters such players should be fired, wasn’t very harsh while tweeting about the advertisement. And that is because Nike happens to be a major tenant for the commander-in-chief’s Manhattan tower for years.
“Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent,” the president told The Daily Caller in an Oval Office sit-down. “As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way… it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”
The sportswear company reportedly paid the NFL star after he was removed from the league, without using him for any kind of endorsement. However, for now, Trump is not going after Nike because he would also get benefits from the company’s revived partnership with the former NFL star.
After Nike’s support for Kaepernick, some of its customers were disgruntled and started destroying Nike shoes and socks to make it clear they did not approve of the company’s support.
However, the latest advertisement of the company was applauded by a major chunk of the Twitter audience, including famous athletes.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Getty Images, Justin Sullivan