A Nike jersey that commemorates four years since former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick famously “took a knee” during the national anthem sold out within minutes of going live, Yahoo Sports reported.
On August 14, 2016, Kaepernick, at the time with the San Francisco 49ers, changed football history, although it garnered little notice at the time. Before two preseason games, Kaepernick did not stand for the national anthem, although no one seemed to pick up on it until after the fact. It wasn’t until August 26 that he started getting widespread attention for his protests, which he would later explain were intended to bring attention to the matter of police brutality.
To commemorate the original acts of protest, Nike released the Icon Jersey 2.0, an all-black top featuring his name and the number 7.
Kaepernick himself posted a photo of the Jersey on Instagram.
“Four years ago, I took a knee to protest against systemic racism and social injustice. It was that day that the number on my jersey would come to represent something greater than football, something greater than me. Since then, the number 7 jersey has become a symbol for advancing the liberation and well-being of Black & Brown communities. Thank you for staying True,” he wrote.
Nike, for its part, called the jersey “an iconic symbol for progress and positive change.”
The garment sold out within a minute, according to a tweet from NBC reporter Jummy Olabanji.
— Jummy Olabanji (@JummyNBC) September 17, 2020
TMZ noted that the jersey, which retails for $150, is now being offered on resale sites for two or three times that figure.
In fact, Kaepernick-branded Nike merchandise seems to sell out as soon as it’s released. In 2019, the manufacturer released an all-black “Icon Jersey” with a white number 7 on the front in February 2019; it sold out within about 10 hours. Similarly, in October 2018, a “Kaepernick icon tee” sold out in about two hours.
Following the 2016 season, Kaepernick has been without an NFL contract, a situation he blames squarely on his activism. Meanwhile, the league has embraced the social justice movement in the wake of the George Floyd protests, though the former 49ers QB remains unemployed.
However, in pixelated form he’s an in-demand quarterback: he’s the top free agent in the Madden NFL 21 video game, according to TMZ.
Though he’s without a job in professional football, his Nike partnership continues to be valuable for both him and the company. Further, he reached a financial settlement with the NFL after suing the league for purportedly blackballing him after his national anthem protests.