Some people are happy with Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ads ... others not so much

A new Nike ad campaign billboard featuring Colin Kaepernick can be seen in midtown Manhattan.
(Alba Vigaray/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

In the days since news broke that Colin Kaepernick will be part of Nike’s latest “Just Do It” advertising campaign, reaction has trended in both directions.

The shoe and apparel manufacturer’s online sales grew 31% from Sunday through Tuesday, showing a 17% improvement over the previous year, said Edison Trends, a digital-commerce researcher.

But with the first Kaepernick television ad appearing during Thursday night’s NFL season opener, President Trump was not as enthusiastic.

“What was Nike thinking?” Trump asked in a Friday morning tweet.

The College of the Ozarks has expressed similar disdain, announcing this week that the athletes on its teams will no longer wear Nike products.


“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” school President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement.

The small, Christian college in Lookout, Mo., has a history of taking stands on matters of patriotism.

Last fall, it began stipulating that players and coaches in events on its campus “show respect for the American flag and national anthem.”

It also requested the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics move the men’s 2018 Division II basketball tournament from nearby Branson, Mo., to another venue if teams did not agree to comply with the college’s “No Pledge, No Play” policy. The NAIA moved the tournament to Sioux Falls, S.D.

Marci Linson, the vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, said: “Nike is free to campaign as it sees fit, as the college is free, and honor-bound by its mission and goals, to ensure that it respects our country and those who truly served and sacrificed.”

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