LeBron James and Serena Williams have shown their support for Nike's polarizing Colin Kaepernick ad campaign

  • Serena Williams and LeBron James have shown solidarity with Nike over its polarising Colin Kaepernick campaign.
  • Nike dropped a 30th anniversary marketing ad featuring Kaepernick, alongside the words: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."
  • Williams said she is "proud" to be a part of the Nike family, while James reblogged the image on his Instagram account, where it was liked 1.5 million times.
  • Not everyone supports Nike, however. Some people have destroyed Nike products in response, and President Donald Trump slammed the ad for sending "a terrible message."

 

Serena Williams and LeBron James have shown solidarity with Nike over its polarising and controversial advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick is an American football quarterback and currently a free agent having left San Francisco 49ers in 2017. Prior to this, the 30-year-old achieved global fame when he began kneeling during pre-game national anthems as a form of protest to police brutality against black people in the US.

He has not played in the NFL since opting out of his 49ers contract but has remained with Nike, the sporting retail giant who put Kaepernick front-and-centre of its 30th anniversary ad campaign.

An ad tweeted by Kaepernick on Monday read: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

The ad has sparked mixed reactions worldwide.

Those against Kaepernick's protests haved posted videos showing Nike products being destroyed, while the hashtag #BoycottNike has also been trending on Twitter.

Even President Donald Trump, who James once famously said uses sports to divide people, said Nike's ad with Kaepernick "sends a terrible message" during an interview with conservative news outlet The Daily Caller.

However, the campaign has been received positively by LA Lakers guard LeBron James and 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams.

James shared the Nike ad on his Instagram account alongside his own caption that read: "Just. Do. It." alongside an emoji of a black fist. James' post has been liked almost 1.5 million times.

Williams, meanwhile, posted her own tweet the day after Nike dropped its Kaepernick ad.

Williams, herself a key part of Nike's marketing strategy, said she was "especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today."

Williams recently commended Kaepernick and free agent Eric Reid, an American footballer who — like Kaepernick — has been unable to find employment at NFL teams since taking a knee in protest.

"I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African American should be completely grateful and honoured how Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good," Williams said at the US Open last week, according to the Washington Post.

"They really use their platform in ways that [are] really unfathomable. I feel like they obviously have great respect from a lot of their peers, especially other athletes, people that really are looking for social change."

38 PHOTOS
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.… https://t.co/vKkFpsg87P
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me… https://t.co/ZUqEd7ldUd
Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions. https://t.co/h8kj6RXe7j
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 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/EQRGcPoaFr
When you find out #nike is supporting #ColinKaepernick #BoycottNike 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/EQRGcPoaFr
Nike ran the numbers. They’ll be ok. But please, burn your socks.
Not playing around. #BackTheBlue #BackTheArmedForces #NikeBoycott https://t.co/uoJcRVJZM5
I just gave $10 this weekend to a homeless veteran. Instead of burning your Nike gear like a goddamned idiot, donat… https://t.co/57AUzQbNL2
#NikeBoycott meet this #VeteransForKaepernick Retired Navy Chief. I served so that Kap can have his voice and spea… https://t.co/QspDdYckjZ
Waiting for Goodwill to open this week with all the new Nike gear... #ColinKaepernick #nikeboycott https://t.co/4nqSOrknrj
Hey #Nike . I don't wear politics or anything related to #ColinKaepernick I no longer buy 5 to 6 pairs per year of… https://t.co/IlATG1XUMI
.@Nike Due to your support of C.K. in your coming adds, I as an American can no longer support your company.… https://t.co/vKkFpsg87P
Let me guess we‘re boycotting Nike because by them supporting Colin Kaepernick they are somehow “disrespecting the… https://t.co/VJF0LOJXDG
Ripping my Nike Air Max to own the libs #BoycottNike https://t.co/FYzpNoZiHX
Can't believe Nike would do such a thing. @Nike @Kaepernick7 #fire #JustDoIt #BoycottNike https://t.co/otqcS49AMu
.@Nike how you going to endorse @Kaepernick7 a person that advertises socks with cops portrayed as pigs, a person t… https://t.co/V2AW0OoMvI
@BreitbartNews Burned my #Nike https://t.co/62rQsXomRH
@TheLastRefuge2 @R_Daneel_0livaw Takin out the trash @Nike #nikeboycott https://t.co/Iz532FatEQ
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! https://t.co/cP9Un6PVzH
Breaking: Nike responds to MAGA backlash https://t.co/8NQj0Y9Hkt
them: Gonna burn/throw away my Nike gear because they are unpatriotic Nike: https://t.co/k1kroZ02cG
“This is terrible marketing. Just awful. I’m gonna show everyone how terrible this is. That’ll show Nike.” https://t.co/XNN06YnPMF
Racists: I’m never buying Nike again Nike: https://t.co/YGD23VWVFA
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 https://t.co/efrqlN09fH
Me, looking to see if anybody burns some Jordans rather the Nike’s they got on the clearance rack https://t.co/5ZKHvpqJOP
Going one step further and no longer worshiping Nike as my goddess of victory. Will ONLY recognize Victoria, her Ro… https://t.co/m1SnsmHcws
Wow Nike. Not a good look https://t.co/MZrOXdukxV
I actually need a new pair of workout shoes. The choices are dizzying. The #NikeBoycott helps me narrow the decisi… https://t.co/rqKgx8hAfY
I Always thought the Air Jordan’s craze was silly. But I will be buying 10 pairs of Those "Air Kaepernick’s" when t… https://t.co/xQM13jsWej
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.
✊🏾 https://t.co/P5xQr2lwLk
Legendary. https://t.co/mvS6ChlXhH
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DON'T MISS: People are destroying their Nike shoes and socks to protest Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign

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