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Nike's controversial decision to feature Colin Kaepernick as the face a new campaign has unsurprisingly been criticised by President Trump


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Colin Kaepernick inspired numerous athletes across the United States to take a knee during the national anthem, but Nike’s decision to feature the NFL star in their new advertising campaign has sparked a lot of criticisms, including from the US president himself.

Nike’s new campaign is an honorary homage to their iconic slogan 'Just do it.' In the controversial campaign ad, numerous different athletes from a variety of sports are featured overcoming obstacles to become the greatest athletes of all time.  

Despite narrating the advert, Kaepernick only features in the advert for a few seconds, but the Nike’s decision to feature him at all has become a hugely controversial topic across the world.

Critics of Kaepernick have decided to boycott the company as result of the partnership, with many even as going as far to burn their Nike products as a form of their own protest.

In the chaos of all the controversies, one critic shines out amongst the others. President Donald Trump, a vocal opponent of protesting athletes, has weighed in with his opinion of the new partnership.

In a tweet, President Trump said: "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!"

There hasn’t just been criticism to Nike’s advert, many athletes have come out with high praise of Kaepernick and the campaign itself.  

Following her defeat at the US open, the tennis superstar Serena Williams, who is also featured in the campaign, commented on the partnership. She said, "Having a huge company back him could be a controversial reason for this company, but they're not afraid.’ She went on to add in a tweet that she is, "especially proud to be a part of the Nike family."

Opinions on Kaepernick’s protests and his partnership with Nike has reached across the Atlantic and has even received support from English athletes. Tottenham and England midfielder Eric Dier, has posted the campaign ad on his personal Instagram account despite Dier receiving numerous negative comments for his support. Dier’s support of Kaepernick and Nike shows how the issue of racial injustices stretches beyond American borders and is clearly an international issue.

Kaepernick first began dividing public opinion back in August 2016 when he decided to remain seated during the mandatory singing of the national anthem, where athletes are expected to stand to attention with their hand over their heart.

Cases of police brutality, such as the death of Eric Garner, as well as the overall treatment of black Americans inspired Kaepernick to take the knee. During the post-match interview, Kaepernick his decision, saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour.”

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