Nike's decision to use Kaepernick to front theJust Do It anniversary campaign has caused fury among critics who say kneeling during the anthem disrespects the American flag.
She said of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick: "He's done a lot for the African-American community, and it's cost him a lot". Kaepernick began his kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 season and was not with an NFL team a year ago.
Like with Kaepernick's announcement, I saw people throughout my social media feeds praising Nike for its actions and support of what they deem an important issue. "Even if it means sacrificing everything" above the trademark Nike swoosh.
Kaepernick made headlines and stirred controversy in 2016 for being one of the first NFL players to kneel during the National Anthem as a way of protesting police brutality and racial injustice in America.
Nike has not commented on the backlash to the campaign at this time. Both have filed collusion grievances against National Football League owners.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the NFL's Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Jocelyn Moore, said, "The National Football League believes in dialog, understanding and unity".
Nike Inc.'s stock slipped about 3 percent Tuesday in midday trading, but the deal with Kaepernick will likely "work in Nike's favor", Brian Nagel, a senior analyst at Oppenheimer, told Bloomberg Tuesday.
Although Nike had a pre-existing deal with Kaepernick, the new deal has been seen as a clear endorsement of Kaepernick and the #TaketheKnee protest.
Since the '90s Nike has also been the target of anti-sweatshop campaigns. More than 1.3 million tweets referenced Nike, and it was the No. 1 trend on Twitter for more than seven hours on Labor Day.