Raiders owner Mark Davis 'absolutely' supports Colin Kaepernick's Nike deal

Following the announcement that Nike was making Colin Kaepernick the face of a 30th anniversary celebration of the company’s famed “Just Do It” campaign, there was some question as to how the NFL might respond to its business partner, considering the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback remains unsigned and recently won a summary judgment in his collusion case against the league.

Consider Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis the first NFL bigwig to openly support Kaepernick.

“Absolutely” it’s a good idea for Nike to feature Kaepernick in its branding, Davis told TMZ. “Why not?”

While Kaepernick was sponsored by Nike during his playing days, the 30-year-old will have his own branded line as part of a new multi-million-dollar deal, according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson.

The move was met with predictable fury from people who oppose Kaepernick’s social views. During the 2016 NFL season, the quarterback began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality and social injustice, including police brutality. He parted ways with the 49ers five years after leading them within inches of a Super Bowl XLVII victory and has not played in the NFL since.

UFC fighter Tim Kennedy and country singer John Rich were among Nikce’s most vocal critics following Monday’s announcement, calling into question Kaepernick’s (and, by extension, Nike’s) devotion to the American flag, the U.S. military and everything for which they believe the national anthem stands. Some Kaepernick critics took to social media, burning Nike apparel in protest of the endorsement.

Others, like Texas senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, contend, “I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee, for your rights, any time, anywhere, in any place.” On Monday, supporters pledged to buy more Nike gear, and people from CIA director John Brennan to superstar athletes (and Nike endorsers) LeBron James and Serena Williams applauded the decision.

Still, Kaepernick’s case against the NFL, which was found by an arbitrator to contain enough evidence suggesting the league’s owners have actively colluded to keep him unsigned, looms over it all. Nike is the NFL’s official jersey sponsor, and there is some concern that this new deal could complicate the partnership. Publicly, at least, Davis suggested to TMZ those worries may be somewhat overblown.

People react to Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign
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People react to Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign
.@Nike Due to your support of C.K. in your coming adds, I as an American can no longer support your company.…
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me…
Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions.
The Twitter user ArtenenAeolus shared a video, since deleted, of a man burning some Nike products. (ArtenenAeolus/Twitter)
When you find out #nike is supporting #ColinKaepernick #BoycottNike 🔥🔥🔥
When you find out #nike is supporting #ColinKaepernick #BoycottNike 🔥🔥🔥
Nike ran the numbers. They’ll be ok. But please, burn your socks.
Not playing around. #BackTheBlue #BackTheArmedForces #NikeBoycott
I just gave $10 this weekend to a homeless veteran. Instead of burning your Nike gear like a goddamned idiot, donat…
#NikeBoycott meet this #VeteransForKaepernick Retired Navy Chief. I served so that Kap can have his voice and spea…
Waiting for Goodwill to open this week with all the new Nike gear... #ColinKaepernick #nikeboycott
Hey #Nike . I don't wear politics or anything related to #ColinKaepernick I no longer buy 5 to 6 pairs per year of…
.@Nike Due to your support of C.K. in your coming adds, I as an American can no longer support your company.…
Let me guess we‘re boycotting Nike because by them supporting Colin Kaepernick they are somehow “disrespecting the…
Ripping my Nike Air Max to own the libs #BoycottNike
Can't believe Nike would do such a thing. @Nike @Kaepernick7 #fire #JustDoIt #BoycottNike
.@Nike how you going to endorse @Kaepernick7 a person that advertises socks with cops portrayed as pigs, a person t…
@BreitbartNews Burned my #Nike
@TheLastRefuge2 @R_Daneel_0livaw Takin out the trash @Nike #nikeboycott
I just wrote “NIKE” on twenty dollar bills and burned them to own the libs.
wow can’t believe colin kaepernick just became the official spokesperson of brake lines
I'm finally cutting out the Nike logos out of my Nike pillow case!
Breaking: Nike responds to MAGA backlash
them: Gonna burn/throw away my Nike gear because they are unpatriotic Nike:
“This is terrible marketing. Just awful. I’m gonna show everyone how terrible this is. That’ll show Nike.”
Racists: I’m never buying Nike again Nike:
nike brilliantly found a way to get the least stylish people to stop wearing its stuff
oh wow not sure how Nike's going to survive if they lose the 70 year old white man market
When you can’t find a cross
Me, looking to see if anybody burns some Jordans rather the Nike’s they got on the clearance rack
Going one step further and no longer worshiping Nike as my goddess of victory. Will ONLY recognize Victoria, her Ro…
Wow Nike. Not a good look
I actually need a new pair of workout shoes. The choices are dizzying. The #NikeBoycott helps me narrow the decisi…
I Always thought the Air Jordan’s craze was silly. But I will be buying 10 pairs of Those "Air Kaepernick’s" when t…
Whether you agree with Nike doing the Kaepernick ad or not it’s bold and I like it. Wish more big companies took risk to make a statement.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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