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Nike’s Colin Kaepernick advert was nearly scrapped fearing backlash

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colin kaepernick nike billboard san francisco union square 4
The Kaepernick advert in
San Francisco.

Katie Canales/Business
Insider


  • Nike almost scrapped its controversial Colin Kaepernick
    campaign over fears people would be angry with the brand for
    associating with him. 

  • Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel
    during the national anthem before
    games in 2016
    to protest racial inequality and police
    brutality.

  • The New York Times was told by Nike insiders that
    officials were concerned with the backlash of the campaign, but
    that a senior executive persuaded colleagues to keep it
    alive.
  • The campaign launched on September 5 and led with a
    photo of Kaepernick with the caption: “Believe in something.
    Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

  • Military families and commentators felt Kaepernick hadn’t
    sacrificed very much. 

Nike executives were reportedly close to scrapping their
campaign staring Colin Kaepernick in September
 because
they feared they would be slammed by those who think kneeling for
the anthem is un-American.


The New York Times said
 on Thursday that it spoke to two
Nike insiders with information about a high-level meeting where
executives came close to cutting ties with Kaepernick.

The Times report said that a top communications executive at the
Oregon-based sportswear company persuaded colleagues to keep
Kaepernick on board.

Nike told the Times: “It would be normal for a number of
people to offer different perspectives. Final decisions are made
as a group.”

The worries about the advertisement came as Nike feared negative
publicity from those who don’t support Kaepernick’s decision to
kneel. 


Colin Kaepernick
Eric Reid #35 and Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San
Francisco 49ers kneel on September 18, 2016.

AP/Mike McCarn

Part of the commercial and poster, released on September 5, said:
“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,”

which prompted people to burn Nike products
 and
demand people boycott the brand.
 

Nike CEO Mark Parker said overall Nike came off better
from the Kaepernick saga, as he told analysts during an earnings
call this week that the company saw “a real uptick in traffic and
engagement, both socially and
commercially,”
 the Times reported.

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the
national anthem before
games in 2016
to protest racial inequality and police
brutality. Critics accused the protest of
disrespecting the US flag and military
, and
Trump called for players who protested during the anthem to be
fired.

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