Nike Pegs Colin Kaepernick As Face Of New Ad Campaign

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A large billboard stands on top of a Nike store showing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick at Union Square, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in San Francisco. An endorsement deal between Nike and Colin Kaepernick prompted a flood of debate Tuesday as sports fans reacted to the apparel giant backing an athlete known mainly for starting a wave of protests among NFL players of police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
In September, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the new face of Nike's "Just Do It" campaign. We look back at the history of the three-word phrase. (Eric Risberg/AP)

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the face of Nike's new 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign.

Kapernick has been a divisive figure since 2016 when he began kneeling at NFL games during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in America.

Nike has had Kaepernick signed to an endorsement deal since 2011, but hasn't used him in over a year. That is, until Monday, when the company unveiled a new ad campaign centered around the former quarterback, by releasing a close-up photo of Kaepernick with the tagline "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."

Wednesday, Kaepernick posted a Nike video ad on his Twitter account featuring other prominent athletes like Serena Williams and LeBron James, which he narrates. The ad is expected to air during the NFL season opener Thursday night.


Howard Bryant, a senior writer at and ESPN The Magazine. He tweets @hbryant42.

Shira Springer, sports and society reporter at WBUR. She tweets @shiraspringer.

This segment aired on September 5, 2018.


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Paris Alston Host, Consider This
Paris Alston was WBUR's host of the Consider This podcast and a former producer for Radio Boston.


Headshot of Shira Springer

Shira Springer Sports and Society Reporter
Shira Springer covers stories at the intersection of sports and society.


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Chris Citorik Senior Producer
Chris Citorik was a senior producer for Radio Boston.



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