According to ESPN, former 49ers second string QB Colin Kaepernick hasn't made quite the sacrifice his new Nike ad suggests — at least, not with Nike.
It appears Nike has been paying Colin Kaepernick since back in 2011 when he inked a deal with the athletic wear company to endorse their products, and Nike continued to pay him even when Kaepernick turned down short-term contracts from both the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers to remain an unemployed political activist.
BREAKING: Nike had been paying Colin Kaepernick all along, waiting for the right moment. That moment is now, as he becomes the face of the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. pic.twitter.com/uccpDStbq5— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 3, 2018
When the "right moment" came, Nike renegotiated with Kaepernick, giving him a significant pay raise and locking the not-NFL player (he left the league officially in 2017) into an NFL "star contract", placing him among Nike's highest-paid athletes.
That takes the sting out of the sacrifice, it seems.
In addition to his spokesperson duties, Kaepernick will now have an entire line of Nike clothing, shoes, and accessories — part of the "star contract" — designed to help Nike celebrate the 30th anniversary of its signature tagline.