Serena Williams said that everyone should be ‘grateful’ for Colin Kaepernick’s protest and she — along with other sports stars — gave love to Kap after he was named the face of Nike’s new ‘Just Do It’ campaign!
“Especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today #justdoit,” Serena Williams, 36, tweeted on Sept. 3, the same day that Nike unveiled its new campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” slogan. Serena’s “pride” was two-fold: not only did she share her own ad (as she tweeted a picture of herself as a youngster) but the campaign also included Colin Kaepernick, 30. The former NFL quarterback caused a firestorm of controversy when he decided to protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. The simple exercise of free speech caused President Donald Trump, 73, and half the country to lose its collective mind, so Nike was taking a major risk in picking Colin.
Yet, taking risk was the whole theme of Colin’s addition to the “Just Do It” campaign. “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” the ad featuring Colin’s face reads. Similar to Serena, NFL stars Kenny Stills, 26, of the Miami Dolphins and Douglas Middleton, 24, of the New York Jets showed their support. “Legendary,” Douglas tweeted, while Kenny simply tweeted the #IMWITHKAP hashtag.
Not everyone was “with Kap” after he was included in this ad campaign (other stars involved in this anniversary celebration include Odell Beckham Jr., 25, and LeBron James, 33). #NikeBoycott trended on Twitter, as people shared pictures of their now-destroyed Nike gear. One person leading the charge was John Rich, 44, of Big & Rich (aka that band that did that “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)” song back in 2004) had a major freakout. The outspoken Republican took an issue with Colin’s inclusion in the campaign after the ex-49ers quarterback wore socks depicting police officers as “pigs” back in 2016. “When you compare police to PIGS, this ends the discussion for me. If you don’t find a problem with that, then feel free to unfollow me. The police JUST SHOWED UP at our concert to protect and serve,” he tweeted during his Sep. 3 Twitter rant, per StereoGum.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) September 4, 2018
It’s safe to say that Rich won’t watch Serena continue to play in the US Open, as she threw her support behind Colin — and similarly unemployed NFL player Eric Reid, 26 – in a post-match interview on Aug. 31, per ESPN. “I think every athlete, every human and definitely every African-American should be completely grateful and honored how Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good, so to say,” Serena said.
“They really use their platform in ways that is really unfathomable. I feel like they obviously have great respect from a lot of their peers, especially other athletes, people that really are looking for social change.”