Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, but he’s back in the football spotlight in a big way. Kaepernick is one of the faces of Nike’s new campaign for its iconic line, “Just Do It,” which is commemorating the 30th anniversary of the original campaign.
Kaepernick started a protest movement during the 2016 NFL season to help bring attention to racial and social injustice by first sitting, and then kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick was inspired to start kneeling rather than sitting by former Green Beret and Seahawks player Nate Boyer, who he spoke with after starting his protests.
“We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer previously said on an episode of HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”
Kaepernick’s protest inspired other players around the league to start kneeling, and since then, the NFL and the players have tried to find a middle ground on all of it. Kaepernick, whom Nike’s vice president of brand for North America Gino Fisanotti called “one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation” in an interview with ESPN, debuted the first part of the campaign on his Twitter profile with the tag line “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”:
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Here’s what you need to know about Kaepernick’s new Nike campaign.