The face of Nike’s latest campaign, Colin Kaepernick, stars in a new commercial debuting this week. ESPN reports that the commercial, in support of the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” slogan, will air during the first game of the season Thursday night.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback shared a preview of his new ad on Twitter Wednesday. He captioned the two-minute commercial, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The video shows a montage of athletes overcoming difficulties to perform well. Kaepernick’s voice provides narration over an uplifting montage of athletes overcoming difficulties to succeed in their sport. “If people say your dreams are crazy, if they laugh at what you think you can do, good. Stay that way. Because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream ‘crazy’ is not an insult. It’s a compliment,” he says.
The commercial challenges viewers to be “bigger than basketball” over a clip of LeBron James celebrating the opening of an elementary school he sponsored. James opened the school for at-risk third and fourth graders earlier this year, according to a previous Inquisitr article.
The video concludes with the stirring line, “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough.”
Thirty-year-old Kaepernick has been a controversial figure since he took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality in the wake of a series of police-involved shootings of unarmed black men. While he is one of the most visible personalities in the sport today, he has not participated in an NFL game since 2016. He accuses the NFL’s team owners of participating in “collusive conduct” by conspiring to keep him off the field in an ongoing lawsuit. According to the Times, “A hearing could begin by the end of the year, though the two sides could settle the case before then. Kaepernick is seeking damages equal to what he would have earned if he were still playing in the league.”
Nike’s announcement of Kaepernick’s sponsorship has not been without controversy. As the Inquisitr reported earlier this week, President Donald Trump is not a fan. “I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it,” he said.
Vocal critics of Kaepernick’s sponsorship have taken to social media with criticism. The hashtag “#BoycottNike” is filled with photos and videos that show people removing Nike Swooshes from their clothing.
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
In conjunction with this new ad campaign, Nike will also produce Kaepernick merchandise, including a T-shirt and a shoe. Nike has also committed to donating to Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” campaign. Nike has said, per the New York Times, that it “supports athletes and their right to freedom of expression on issues that are of great importance to our society.”