Kaepernick Got What He Wanted from Nike, Now He's Stabbing Them in the Back


There was quite a bit of controversy when it was recently announced that Nike had hired the disgracefully anti-American ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick to be the new face of its heretofore purely inspirational “Just Do It” advertising campaign — which now comes with a healthy dose of progressive social justice.

Kaepernick’s deal with Nike appeared to be rather lucrative — multi-millions of dollars for multiple years — with a Yahoo NFL reporter detailing the terms of the deal to include a branded line of shoes, shirts, jerseys and other apparel bearing Kaepernick’s name and/or likeness. Plus there are royalties on the sales of such items.

One would assume that such a lucrative deal would also be an exclusive one as well, given the incredible amount of publicity brought to both Nike and Kaepernick by the arrangement, but a report from BizPac Review has revealed that such assumptions would be flat out wrong.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback — who launched the anti-American protests of the national anthem prior to NFL games in 2016 after losing his starting quarterback role — has also now launched his own line of branded apparel, separate from the Nike merchandise that will bear his brand.

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According to ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell, the non-Nike Kaepernick jerseys — which feature his former number and name on the back, as well as #IMWITHKAP on the front — sell for $175, with a reported 20 percent of the profits being forwarded toward Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights Camp,” a sort of boot camp for aspiring social justice warriors.

As a comparison, Nike store NFL player jerseys range in price from as low as $80 to as much as $325, and jersey-like T-shirts sell for about $40. Kaepernick’s non-Nike jerseys are thus greatly marked up and placed on par with Nike’s “elite” and “limited” line jerseys, which sell for $325 and $150, respectively.

Production and distribution costs are unknown, but it doesn’t take a math wizard to guess that whatever remained would still be a healthy profit — all going into Kaepernick’s pocket once the 20 percent donation to the social justice camp was covered.

That fact didn’t sit well with the vast majority of commenters on Rovell’s post, many of whom actually otherwise support Kaepernick and his fight for social justice.

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That may have played a role in a sudden and otherwise inexplicable shift in Kaepernick’s messaging. Kaepernick’s first promotional post to Instagram about his non-Nike jerseys noted that 20 percent of the proceeds would go toward his camp, but a subsequent post to Twitter stated that the camp would receive 100 percent of the profits, at least from the “official, limited edition #IMWITHKAP jersey released today.”

(It wasn’t clear how future sales might be handled.)

To be sure, America is a nation built on capitalism and Kaepernick is free to make as much as can through any legal means he can find, including sucking people’s wallets dry for off-brand apparel that is more expensive than the actual name-brand merchandise.

However, the irony of an outspokenly anti-American social justice warrior who has praised communist leaders and promotes anti-capitalist views making millions of dollars via capitalism, both by virtue of his own line of apparel and his multi-million dollar deal with a massive international corporation, is blindingly glaring.

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One would think that Kaepernick would have shown some appreciation for the public relations risk Nike is enduring on his behalf by being loyal and not acting in a manner that will threaten to steal away Nike’s profits, but that isn’t the case.

While Nike is paying Kaepernick millions per the endorsement deal, and he stands to make untold amounts more through royalties of his endorsed apparel sales, he has nevertheless launched his own brand that indisputably will compete, at least at some level, with Nike.

This just goes to show what kind of person Kaepernick truly is — a disloyal man who will backstab the corporation that has endorsed him and fully exploit our nation’s capitalist system while railing against the very economic system that has so enriched his purportedly oppressed and utterly pathetic self.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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