Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick has posted the first television commercial made as part of his new deal with Nike.
“If people say your dreams are crazy, if they laugh at what you think you can do, good,” says Kaepernick in a voiceover while footage of other Nike athletes, including Serena Williams and skateboarder Nyjah Huston, plays. “Stay that way. Because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy isn’t an insult. It’s a compliment.”
“So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy,” says Kaepernick at the end of the commercial – which went public Wednesday. “Ask if they’re crazy enough.”
The spot was posted just a couple days after Nike revealed that Kaepernick, who is at the center of a years-long fierce debate over free speech and athlete protests, is the face of the company’s newest ad campaign. That announcement brought cheers from some corners, while others who disagree with Kaepernick’s actions defaced their Nike gear in protest.
Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, ignited a firestorm in 2016 when he sat through the national anthem, and, in later games, knelt through it. A handful of other NFL players, many of whom are black, followed suit. The players involved have said they are protesting everything from police brutality to racial inequality more broadly.
Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract with the 49ers in 2016, has not played a professional football game ever since. He now contends that NFL team owners conspired to keep him off any roster in retaliation for his actions, and has filed a grievance that is moving from arbitration to trial.
Nike’s new ad featuring Colin Kaepernick will air during the 2018-19 NFL opening game featuring the Atlanta Falcons and defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports.