Colin Kaepernick and Nike unveiled a new ad featuring the quarterback on Monday, as part of the company’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” ad campaign.
The image, which Kaepernick tweeted out, shows a black-and-white closeup of the quarterback’s face and the words: “Believe in something. Even it if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.”
According to ESPN, Nike has kept paying Kaepernick — who signed with the brand in 2011 — despite not using him in ads over the past two years. The company said it planned to bring him back at the right time.
“We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” Nike V.P. of brand in North America Gino Fisanotti told ESPN.
Complaint against NFL
Kaepernick, who began kneeling in protest of racial injustice during the U.S. national anthem in August of 2016, is entering a second National Football League season without being on a team roster.
He has an active collusion grievance against the NFL, as he alleges football team owners colluded to deny him a contract as punishment for his role in organizing protests by players. That case cleared a hurdle last week, when the league’s request to dismiss the grievance was rejected. A trial hearing that requires testimony from NFL owners could happen at some point in the future.
Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/JustDoIt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#JustDoIt</a> <a href=”https://t.co/SRWkMIDdaO”>pic.twitter.com/SRWkMIDdaO</a>
Nike’s campaign also includes ads featuring Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr. and Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who plays professional football despite missing one hand due to complications from amniotic band syndrome as a child.
“We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes,” Fisanotti told ESPN.