UPDATE (3:20 PM ET): Nike has chosen to release the full two-minute video advertisement starring Colin Kaepernick and other star athletes, despite the backlash they received for the original ad.
Nike is at the centre of controversy this week after their recent campaign, starring disgraced NFL star Colin Kaepernick, went viral for all the wrong reasons. Nike's stock took a major blow on Tuesday when thousands of angry Americans filmed themselves burning their Nike gear and posted them on social media with the hashtag #JustBurnIt.
As you may recall, dozens of NFL players made a bold statement on the field in protest of ongoing police brutality and rampant racial injustice. Instead of standing for the American national anthem before the game, many NFLers chose to take a knee. Leading the protest was Colin Kaepernick.
President Trump has criticized the protest in the past and has even called Kaepernick out for it. "I think as far as sending a message, I think it's a terrible message and a message that shouldn't be sent," Trump once said about the protest.
Kaepernick has received just as much support as he has criticism for his protest. But, he was dropped from his team shortly following the controversy and is now taking the NFL to court over it.
Which brings us to the Nike ad in question. The ad is a black and white closeup image of Kaepernick's face with the message, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything." Shortly following the ad's release, uproar and outrage ensued.
It goes without saying that those participating in the #JustBurnIt viral movement are the same people who were against Kaepernick's protest, to begin with. Trump supporters have also burned their Nike gear, in an effort to take the President's side in the NFL controversy.
Nike has referred to Kaepernick as "one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation" and seem to be standing by their decision to feature him in the ad.