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The NFL, Colin Kaepernick and Nike’s ‘Just Do it’ campaign

Yesterday, Colin Kaepernick published on social media the image you see above this article. Nike’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. Yet again, it’s sparked further debate – both positive and negative.

I feel personally the message this campaign sends out is hugely important – It shows that, despite the fact Kaepernick still remains unsigned to a team, Nike fully support him. It’s something the NFL has chosen to silence for some time now. They’ve ignored the situation for so long, but this campaign from Nike, is something that I feel can no longer be ignored.

I heard it myself this morning on the Radio when driving in to work that media have said “Kaepernick refused to stand”, perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t feel at all that was the case. He chose to sit, which caused huge backlash, but he spoke to a veteran soldier, who told him to kneel out of respect and so going forward that is what he did. The reason for it all, was all to highlight the police brutality happening in America. It was never about being disrespectful towards the anthem, or the hard work that those protecting the US do.

It seems something that America is very divided over. Many support it. Many don’t. The initial kneeling caused backlash and here we are again now, with fans supposedly ripping off the ‘swoosh’ from their Nike clothing.

Do I feel the campaign will make an impact? I’d hope so but genuinely, it’s really difficult to tell what will happen in the new season and beyond – some teams have asked their players remain in locker rooms if they won’t stand for the anthem, some teams have specified players will be fined if they don’t partake in the anthem.

Will Kaepernick ever be signed to a team again? I genuinely hope so, he is a good player and there were a number of situations last season where an average quarterback was signed, just to avoid signing Kaepernick – who in my opinion, with the right team behind him, is a great player.

Article written by:

Liz has covered the NFL for five seasons, and currently serves as Managing Editor for Ninety-Nine Yards and for her own website, NFLGirlUK.com. Since launching the website in 2014, she has made regular appearances on the TalkSport2 ‘All American Sports Show’ with Nat Coombs and in 2016 was ranked No.37 (of 400+) in the “Super Bowl: Top 50 UK Influencers” by marketing software producers Analytica for “igniting conversations” between fans.

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