People started burning their Nike clothes just hours after Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who sparked controversy for kneeling during the US national anthem, said he was playing in Nike’s iconic “Just Do It” advertising campaign.
Like anything controversial these days, social media fueled the backlash faster than the lighter fluid people poured onto their once-beloved Nike products as the hashtags #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt began to be trending on Twitter.
“First the NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose the country. Then Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country,” Sean Clancy tweeted. , with a video of Nike shoes burning.
Other published images of Nike products in trash bags or with the Nike logo removed from clothing.
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Nike’s backlash comes as no surprise after Kaepernick has been constantly criticized by US President Donald Trump and US conservatives since the kneeling protest.
Kaepernick, 30, last played in the NFL in 2016 but remains one of the most popular figures in the sport and has been under contract with Nike since 2011.
In 2016, Kaepernick’s jerseys were the top-selling jerseys on the NFL’s official online store after he began his knee-deep protest against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.
The move was celebrated by others, including fellow Nike athlete Serena Williams.
Nike has a strong, long-standing relationship with the NFL and is the current official supplier of NFL jerseys.
Kaepernick tweeted an image from the campaign with the caption: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.
The former San Fransisco 49 filed a collusion grievance against the league in October, alleging an organized effort to keep him off a roster due to his protests during the national anthem of the 2016 season.
Nike’s outrage prompted a quick reaction from other netizens, mocking those who destroy a product they’ve already paid for:
— Jordan (@JordanUhl) September 3, 2018
Breaking: Nike responds to MAGA backlash pic.twitter.com/8NQj0Y9Hkt
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) September 4, 2018
I just wrote “NIKE” on twenty dollar bills and burned them to own the libraries.
—Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) September 4, 2018
So by not wanting to support or promote @Nike you’re going to cut socks that have already been paid for and THEN you tweet and @Nike. Logic! 🤯 https://t.co/RtlY0pZYDJ
—AJ DeLaGarza (@AJD_20) September 4, 2018