Colin Kaepernick is still not signed to an NFL team, but he did just sign a pretty big contract. The massive sportswear manufacturer, Nike, has announced that it has chosen Kaepernick to be the face of its 30th anniversary “Just do it” campaign, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The new ad features the tagline “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.”
Kaepernick has not had a contract with an NFL team since 2016. That is when he began a wave of protests by NFL players by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
The protests that came from his stand have polarized many sports fans. It has also led President Donald Trump to urge NFL owners to suspend or fire players who protest during the anthem.
Kaepernick may have not been signed to a football team, but ESPN reporter Darren Rovell said that Nike has been paying Kaepernick throughout the controversy.
Darren Rovell tweeted the breaking news:
“BREAKING: Nike had been paying Colin Kaepernick all along, waiting for the right moment. That moment is now, as he becomes the face of the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign.”
BREAKING: Nike had been paying Colin Kaepernick all along, waiting for the right moment. That moment is now, as he becomes the face of the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. pic.twitter.com/uccpDStbq5
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 3, 2018
Some are indicating that the Nike move is a brave one, considering that it makes all NFL uniforms and the ads might put the company at odds with people who see the protests as anti-military or anti-flag.
This coup with Nike comes in the wake of a decision by an arbitrator to allow Kaepernick to take his grievance with the NFL to trial. The former quarterback is alleging that NFL owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests against social injustice.