On September 3, Nike announced that it was partnering with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for its new “Just Do It” campaign, featuring the slogan: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Social media was divided over Nike’s decision. While many users supported the company, others protested by lighting their previously purchased Nike gear on fire and posting the videos online.
The day after the announcement, Nike suffered financially. According to Bloomberg, the company’s “shares slipped as much as 3.9 percent to $79 as of 9:31 a.m. Tuesday [September 4],” which was “the biggest intraday slide in five months.”
However, shares rose dramatically in the following weeks, capping out at $86.04 on September 26. Since that record high, shares have steadily fallen back down. On Friday, Nike opened at $72 – a low that the company hasn’t seen since June.
Speaking with The Daily Caller, President Trump, a vocal critic of NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem, said of the Nike deal:
I think it’s a terrible message that they’re 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.
The president added, however, that while he personally didn’t agree with Nike’s decision to ink a deal with the controversial football player, “it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do – but I personally am on a different side of it.”
On Thursday, Nike released the very first item in its Kaepernick clothing line. The long sleeve ICON t-shirt features Kaepernick’s name printed in bold letters across the back, and the Nike symbol on both arms. Additionally, the phrase “believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” can be found in small print on the sleeve.
The t-shirt, which went for $50 on Nike’s official website, sold out within hours of its release. Attempts to find the shirt on Nike.com yielded the following results: “The product you are looking for is no longer available.”
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Sandra Carreon-John, Global Corporate Communications Director for Nike, said:
We believe Colin Kaepernick is one of the most inspirational athletes of his generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward. The tee, which marks the beginning of Colin’s product collaboration with Nike, sold out in less than 24 hours on Nike.com.
When asked how many shirts were available at launch, and when more will be in stock, Carreon-John said she didn’t know.
For his part, Kaepernick tweeted that he is “humbled and grateful” for the support, adding a link where fans can locate the ICON t-shirts in-store:
Out of stock online in just a couple hours! Thank you! I’m humbled & grateful 4 all of the continued support.
The Daily Wire contacted several stores listed on Kaepernick’s website, all of which had the T-shirt in stock.