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Last week Nike caused massive controversy by naming NFL star Colin Kaepernick the face of their new advertising campaign, despite not having a team for over a year, but it's paid off as they've experienced a 31 percent increase in sales.
Edison Trends, a digital commerce research company, have claimed that sales were drastically higher than they were over the same period on 2017. They said: "Nike sales grew 31 percent from Sunday through Tuesday over Labor Day this year, besting 2017's comparative 17 percent increase."
The sportswear giant ran their new ad campaign featuring the former NFL quarterback, who has courted controversy for his protests against the American national anthem at games, on Monday.
It included the slogan: "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it."
Thirty-year-old Kaepernick has not been affiliated to a team since he opted out of continuing his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
He began his political activism following several high-profile incidents of perceived racial injustice and police brutality. It began with him sitting down during the national anthem, then later on, taking a knee during the playing of 'The Star Spangled Banner' before fixtures.
His protests attracted the attention of Donald Trump, the US president, who has publicly criticised Kaepernick and all of the other players who joined in with his protests.
Kaepernick's detractors, including the president, accuse him of disrespecting the flag, the national anthem, and the US military through his actions.
Recently, Trump told Daily Caller: "I think it's a terrible message that [Nike] are sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there's a reason for them doing it. But I think as far as sending a message, I think it's a terrible message and a message that shouldn't be sent. There's no reason for it."
However, he conceded that the advertising campaign was: "in another way ... what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn't do".
The president doesn't appear to have seen the same figures as Edison Trends. Just the other day he tweeted: "Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!"
After the commercials caused such a stir, some people have taken videos of themselves burning Nike goods that they have purchased.
In a recent open letter, American Sports icon and NBA basketball legend, Kareem Abdul Jabbar said: "It's been two years since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee to protest systemic racial injustice, especially police brutality, against people of color.
"The worst thing about that isn't that two years later we're still debating whether players have the right to protest, it's that not much has changed regarding what Kaepernick was protesting."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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