Nike’s latest ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is alienating the president — though that shouldn’t come as a surprise, given Trump’s vocal criticism of players who chose to kneel during the last football season.
“I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it,” Trump said of Nike’s latest advertisement in an interview with website The Daily Caller on Tuesday.
“I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it,” he continued.
Nike’s latest campaign features Kaepernick, who was the first NFL player to kneel during the National Anthem back in 2016. The ad, which marks the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” campaign, features the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” superimposed over a close-up of Kaepernick’s face.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
After the ad was released, the NFL showed support for Kaepernick — though the former Super Bowl contender is not with a team this season.
“The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities,” Jocelyn Moore, the NFL’s executive vice president of Communications and Public Affairs, said in a statement obtained by TheWrap on Tuesday. “The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”
Trump also mentioned previous business ties with the sportswear corporation: “Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent,” he said.
However, Nike moved its NYC Niketown store from East 57th Street to a new flagship store on 5th Avenue this year, according to Business Insider. Nike did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Trump’s remarks and its NYC store location.