Nike’s decision this week to launch an advertising campaign praising quarterback — and national anthem protester — Colin Kaepernick has sparked much criticism, and even calls for a boycott of the company.
Within the sports world, however, Nike has faced very little pushback. That’s not surprising; Nike has sponsorship deals with so many high-profile athletes as well as numerous professional and college teams that Nike isn’t going to be singled out by most athletes, even if they disagree with Kaepernick’s stance on the anthem.
But one champion athlete isn’t holding in back his criticism of Nike or Kaepernick, who is featured in the Nike ad as saying, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Mixed martial arts fighter Colby Covington, currently the UFC interim welterweight champion, went on Twitter to rip the company and using an expletive to describe Kaepernick.
“I grew up in Oregon and was around Nike my whole life,” Covington said, referring to the state where Nike’s corporate offices are located. “It’s funny watching a company that uses child slave labor overseas to make their products all of sudden become humanitarians.”
Covington then said former NFL player Pat Tillman — who walked away from a lucrative contract in pro football to join the military in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and was eventually killed during his service — was much more of a hero when compared to Kaepernick because Tillman truly gave the ultimate sacrifice for what he believed in.
It’s worth noting that UFC is sponsored by Reebok, a fierce competitor of Nike.
But Covington’s public display of patriotism, as well as his support of President Donald Trump, are well documented.
Last month, Covington posed with President Donald Trump at the White House with the UCF championship belt — a belt he promised he would bring to the White House if he won the welterweight championship in June after Covington ripped championship athletes from other sports for not wanting to visit the White House.
Like @POTUS @realDonaldTrump always says: Promises made. Promises kept. Pleasure to finally meet you Mr. President. Thank you for always putting America first! #maga #GreatAmericanWinningMachine 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/yYZWkdd5wS
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) August 2, 2018
Covington has also made it clear that he has no tolerance for anyone who uses the anthem as a platform for protest.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) August 10, 2018
Covington won the interim championship in June by defeating Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225.
Covington’s reign as interim welterweight championship comes to an end this weekend at UFC 228. He is unable to defend his title due to injury, so the winner of Saturday’s bout between Tyron Woodley and Darren Till will become the new welterweight champion.
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