A controversial Nike ad featuring former NFL quarterback and national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick has been nominated for an Emmy Award.
Kaepernick was made the face of the company’s “Just Do It” campaign last year and was prominently featured in Nike’s “Dream Crazy” commercial.
The ad features a number of different athletes and a voiceover from Kaepernick, who famously declares, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
That was an apparent reference to the fact that Kaepernick hasn’t signed with another NFL team since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. He claims he is being blackballed by NFL teams because of his anthem protests.
Those divisive protests were the reason the ad campaign faced a strong backlash from many fans who found his kneeling during the anthem disrespectful to the country and those who have risked and given their lives to protect it.
Some declared they no longer would purchase Nike products, and even President Donald Trump commented on the campaign.
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Despite the controversy — or, more likely, because of it — “Dream Crazy” has received an Emmy nomination for outstanding commercial, Fox News reported Wednesday.
Although much of the ad centers around positive sports achievements, it has a thinly veiled political message with the focus on Kaepernick.
By kicking off the anthem protest trend in August 2016 — “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said at the time — Kaepernick contributed to a big decline in the NFL’s television ratings the next two years.
Over the course of the 2016 and 2017 NFL seasons, the league’s ratings dropped by a combined more than 17 percentage points.
Kaepernick’s brand is not a unifying one. To many, he is the definition of a toxic brand.
He mixed sports and politics in a way that millions of Americans found off-putting.
Kaepernick’s defenders claimed he was not protesting the flag, but with his influence resulting in Nike axing a line of shoes featuring the Betsy Ross flag, that is now a hard point to argue.
Unfortunately, it would not be a surprise to see Kaepernick’s ad win an Emmy given the leftism that dominates the entertainment industry.
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