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Metro weighs in on Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad

Posted at 6:05 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 19:59:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A day later and there's backlash over Colin Kaepernick being one of the faces of Nike's 30th-anniversary commemoration of its iconic "Just Do It" slogan.

But Toni-Rochelle Ford, assistant professor of marketing at Park University, believes that the brand knew what was coming

Although Kaepernick is seen as a controversial figure, he is still one of the most well-known athletes out there today and he's not even playing.

In August 2016, Kaepernick started the movement to kneel during the U.S. national anthem to protest racial injustice.

He opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers last year and has been unsigned since.

"I think they recognize that there's going to be controversy associated with it but I also think that the brand really stands behind him as an athlete and him being able to use his voice in the way that he has been," Ford said.

Some customers are sticking by the company. While others have shared photos online of them destroying their Nike gear to protest.

"I think Nike has shown that over time they're willing to talk about things that are culturally relevant at the moment and they've been very outspoken about a number of things and so I think that even though we might see those who are continually saying we don't like Nike because of this or that I think that this particular instance won't be the thing that causes Nike stock to go beyond what we've seen," Ford said.

Shares of Nike fell three-percent Tuesday. Despite the drop, Nike has had strong sales and earnings this year.

"So I think that Nike's decision to always have a voice in these conversations is intentional and is a good thing—will be a good thing for the brand long-term," Ford said.