As Nike Controls the Conversation With Its Kaepernick Ad, the NFL Must Decide What It Stands For

The league has played both sides for too long

Nike’s marketing has historically started conversations about tough subjects from ageism to Title IX and HIV. And its 30th anniversary celebration of its “Just do it” tagline doesn’t stray from that tradition. The brand’s black-and-white, close-up photo of football player Colin Kaepernick, with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” and the two-minute spot that ran during the first game of the NFL season ignited a social media firestorm.

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This story first appeared in the September 10, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.