“Believe in something. Even it means sacrificing everything.”
Nike carefully chose those words and decided to make Colin Kaepernick the centerpiece for its 30-year anniversary campaign this year. Below is a video Kaepernick tweeted Wednesday:
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports Wednesday that Nike will stick by its decision to air the above video as a commercial during the NFL season opener involving the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.
The immortal words “Just Do It” have become iconic and affiliated with the brand over the company’s 30-year history. In a stunning, out-of-nowhere decision, Kaepernick, who last played quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, and Nike revealed the surprising advertisement Monday. The reveal was timed just days before the NFL regular season was scheduled to start, and the ensuing national anthem and flag controversy would arise once more.
Since the ad reveal, a #BoycottNike campaign has grown and continued to trend on social media. With it, images and videos of users boycotting the purchase of Nike products, as well as burning and encouraging other users to follow, has become increasingly more popular.
Though despite the outrage, Nike athletes, a few who Rovell reports will appear in the scheduled Thursday commercial, stand by the Kaepernick ad and the decision to move forward with the planned campaign. Athletes include New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Serena Williams, who has been no stranger to campaigns like this in the past.
Since the decision, Nike’s stock price has dropped even further. As of now, Nike stock sits at $79.94 per share, according to MarketWatch.com.