OUTRAGED Americans have called for a boycott of Nike gear after the sports giant included controversial NFL player Colin Kaepernick in its 30th anniversary campaign.
Social media has been flooded with images of people burning their clothing and trainers, alongside the rise of the #BoycottNike Twitter tag. Here’s more on what’s going on.
What is the Nike-Colin Kaepernick boycott?
Thousands of Americans have taken to Twitter to protest their outrage at one of the faces included in Nike’s 30th anniversary campaign.
Many have threatened to burn their Nike clothing and trainers after it was revealed that Nike had signed up controversial kneeling quarterback Colin Kaepernick to be part of its Just Do It campaign.
The online backlash since Nike unveiled him as one of the chosen athletes has been aggressive and non-stop.
Nike retweeted a photo of the former San Francisco 49ers player with the tagline: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
While many commented underneath supporting his stance, the vast majority were less forgiving, with one saying: “Big mistake Nike!”
Larra, who describes herself as a “full-time softball mom”, went on: “My family will not be buying, wearing, or speaking the name Nike.
“Kneeling during the National Anthem is unacceptable… The soldiers that died to maintain his rights deserve his respect.”
She was not the only one with social media awash with videos of Americans chucking expensive sneakers into furnaces.
Sean Clancy posted a video of his pristine white Nike shoes in flames with the words: “Since when did the American flag and National Anthem become so offensive?”
Another self-professed conservative was seen throwing his trainers into an outdoor furnace, adding: “Nike, due to your support of Colin Kaepernick in your coming ads, I as an American can no longer support your company.”
Coach Trotter uploaded an ominous pic of himself waving an electric flame over dozens of running shoes, saying: “Can’t believe Nike would do such a thing.”
How has it affected Nike’s share price?
The Oregon-based company saw its share price affected on Tuesday as the call for a boycott spread.
Nike’s share price fell by more than three percent on September 4.
At the start of trading its shares were valued at $79.92 but by 2pm this had fallen to just over $80. This is down on September 5 which opened at $82.
By September 7 its shares opened the day at just over $80 and hit a high of $81.16 at around midday but has fallen off since and is currently trading at $80.30, slightly above its opening price.
But its share price is still up by around 27 percent since the start of the year.
It’s market capitalisation is around $128.52billion.
The company was originally founded in January 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight.
It became Nike Inc in May 1971.
Knight is the company’s chairman emeritus while Mark Parker is the chairman, president and CEO.
Andrew Campion is the chief financial officer.
What is the NFL national anthem debate?
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback divided the country when he refused to stand and instead knelt during the national anthem in several NFL games in the 2016 season to protest racial inequality in the country.
The 30-year-old’s protest also focused on police violence against African-Americans, and is an open supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The US president has called players who “disrespect” the US flag “sons of bitches” and called for them to be sacked.
Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL since last year, claims team owners have deliberately frozen him out because of his activism.
He is suing the NFL and his case looks likely to go to a trial.
In May 2018, the NFL announced that teams whose players knelt for the national anthem would be fined under a new policy.
The league said players not willing to stand for The Star-Spangled Banner could stay in the changing rooms until it had been performed.
The star has been on a contract with Nike throughout the kneeling row, but it has now been renegotiated to make him part of the anniversary campaign.
The United States continues to remain divided on the kneeling issue.
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What is the Just Do It ad?
Kaepernick is one of a number of sports stars to appear in the 30th anniversary Just Do It ad.
The anniversary campaign is a return to the slogan that made the company famous.
Other sports stars featured include fellow NFL players Odell Beckham Jr and Shaquem Griffin, basketball legend LeBron James and tennis star Serena Williams.