Nike’s Colin Kaepernick controversy may be short lived.
Nike shares rebounded yesterday, shaking off calls for a boycott, after it named former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of its “Just Do It” campaign and after a morning tweet slam from President Trump.
“Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!” Trump wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.
The athletic wear company’s stock lost more than 3 percent on Tuesday, or about $3.7 million in market cap, the day after the athletic apparel giant unveiled the controversial athlete to represent the famed slogan, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Nike’s decision led to calls for a boycott of the company, with more than 42,000 people tweeting with the hashtag #NikeBoycott on Tuesday morning. Some users showed their disapproval by posting images and videos of themselves lighting their Nike products on fire.
Kaepernick, the now-free agent quarterback, stirred up controversy when he began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem prior to NFL games, beginning in the summer of 2016, to protest racial injustices against the African-American community. He is currently suing the NFL’s 32 owners for collusion, alleging that they have kept him out of the league because of the protests. Kaepernick hasn’t played on an NFL team since he opted out of his contract with the Niners at the end of the 2016 season.
In addition to being one of Kaepernick’s corporate sponsors, Nike signed a deal in March that extended its partnership with the NFL through 2028. Under terms of the agreement, which takes effect after the current contract expires in 2020, the company will provide all teams with uniforms and sideline apparel.
“The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities,” said Jocelyn Moore, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs. “The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”