It’s a rare advertisement that promotes sporting goods while paying tribute to standing for one’s moral convictions — or, as the case may be, kneeling.
Yet that’s the end result in a powerful new Nike ad unveiled by controversial NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which he shared on his Twitter account on Monday.
Kaepernick, currently a free agent after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers last year, has become the face of the “Take a Knee” movement, in which NFL players drop to one knee during the performance of the U.S. national anthem in protest of police violence against African-Americans.
While the controversy hasn’t been a boon for Kaepernick’s football career, it seems to be doing the trick when it comes to his viability as an advertising spokesperson; he’s been chosen as the face of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign on the 30th anniversary of the still-popular advertising tagline.
Criticism of players taking a knee at NFL games has proven to be a rallying cry for President Donald Trump among his base, and he’s frequently taken to Twitter to slam players who do as being unpatriotic.
In a 2016 interview with NFL.com, Kaepernick explained why he decided to take a knee during the anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
On Sept. 5, Nike unveiled a star-studded new “Dream Crazy” TV spot featuring Kaepernick, promoting the idea that “calling a dream crazy isn’t an insult; it’s a compliment.” Watch:
Meanwhile, check out some of the early Twitter response to Kaepernick’s Nike ad: