Richard Shotwell / Associated Press
Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the clothing of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick following his deal with Nike. The company has made him the face of its 30th anniversary âJust Do Itâ campaign, but it’s unclear whether he will have a signature shoe and clothing line.
Darren rovell ESPN reported the update on Tuesday amid discussions over Nike’s plans for the NFL free agent, who began the move to kneel during the United States’ national anthem before games for protest racial injustice in August 2016.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports refuted Rovell’s report:
Charles Robinson @Charles Robinson
I have enormous professional respect for Darren, but we’re going to crash here. Several sources told me that there was absolutely a contractual commitment from @nike for a signature shoe and a âKaepernick 7â clothing line. And I report it, not speculate it. https://t.co/kSXq50SbvI
The selection of the polarizer Kaepernick led to negative reactions against Nike.
Uday Sampath Kumar and Emma Thomasson of Reuters noted that the company’s shares fell 3% early in Tuesday, while the hashtag “Nike Boycott” was trending on Twitter throughout the morning.
Kaepernick, who has remained a free agent since retiring from his contract with the Niners in March 2017, is engaged in a collusion case against the NFL.
The protest movement he launched is still a controversial topic that the league struggles to navigate.
A new poll published NBC News Friday and the Wall Street newspaper showed that 54% of respondents rated kneeling during the hymn âinappropriateâ and 43% considered it âappropriateâ.
Although the owners of the NFL approved anthem rules in May that allowed the league to issue fines to teams that had a player kneeling on the sidelines, the guidelines are waiting with the 2018 season kicking off on Thursday night amid discussions with the Players Association.
Kaepernick was honored for his efforts, including $ 1 million in donations, by being named GQ Magazine Citizen of the Year in 2017 and won Amnesty International’s 2018 Ambassador of Conscience Award earlier this year.