Colin Kaepernick Is the Face of Nike's 'Just Do It' 30th Anniversary Campaign

Just three days before the start of the NFL season, Nike unveiled its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign on Monday, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, the sportswear company has announced that it has chosen Colin Kaepernick to be the new face of the campaign.

The new ad, which features a close-up, black-and-white photograph of Kaepernick’s face, puts Kaepernick’s convictions up front and center, with the quote: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.”

Kaepernick, who is currently a free agent, has not played in the football league since 2016, when he began to silently protest police brutality and racial injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem, sparking other NFL players to follow suit, The Huffington Post reports.

The protests he inspired created a great deal of controversy and polarized sports fans across the country. President Donald Trump urged NFL owners to suspend or fire players who protested during the anthem, telling the crowd at a rally in Alabama in 2017 that he’d love to see an NFL owner say “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now.”

Two weeks after Trump’s remarks, Vice President Mike Pence attended a football game but left before the game began when players took a knee during the anthem, later tweeting that he left the game early because he “will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

In May, the NFL changed its policy so it no longer required all players to be on the field during the national anthem, but said that players who demonstrated during the anthem could be penalized.

According to Buzzfeed News, Nike reportedly signed Kaepernick to its endorsement roster in 2011, and has kept him on the roster despite not currently being on an NFL team.

The announcement of the campaign comes on the heels of an arbitrator’s decision to allow Kaepernick to take his grievance with the NFL to trial. Kaepernick alleges that the NFL “...colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States.”