After Colin Kaepernick announced he would be featured in the 30th anniversary celebration of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign with a tweet emblazoned, “Believe in something, even it means sacrificing everything,” even British commentator Piers Morgan, who had supported Kaepernick’s right to kneel to protest the American national anthem, was disgusted, writing that Kaepernick had made a “decision that he will surely live to regret.”
Morgan’s op-ed in The Daily Mail recounted Morgan’s initial reaction to Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem, which prompted Morgan’s disapproval over what he wrote was an “unnecessarily insulting form of protest.” But when Kaepernick followed by kneeling, Morgan discussed the situation with former NFL player Nate Boyer and decided Kaepernick had the right to kneel.
Then the announcement of the Nike campaign occurred, and that was too much for Morgan. He wrote, “ … it turns out Nike have not just been paying him vast sums of money throughout this whole protest process, they have also just signed him up to a whacking new multi-million dollar deal. So in terms of financial reward, he hasn’t really sacrificed much at all, let alone ‘everything.’ Indeed, it could be argued that Kaepernick will now make more money from Nike and the vast PR impact of this new deal than he ever would have done as an ageing, declining football player.”
Morgan quoted Jason Whitlock, Fox Sports commenter, who bristled, “Told y’all from Day One this has always been about the money. All of it. Revolutionaries aren’t sponsored by major corporations. It’s been a hustle from the giddy-up.” Morgan commented, “He’s got a point hasn’t he?”
Morgan concludes, “Until today, I genuinely thought Colin Kaepernick was acting purely from a point of fiercely held principle, and one I happen to agree with. Now, I’m not so sure. By taking Nike’s money, Kaepernick’s made it seem like he won’t salute the flag, but he will bow down to the dollar. And by filling his boots with corporate cash, he’s made a mockery of any suggestion that he’s been ‘sacrificing everything.’”