Nike and Kaepernick: a force for good or a pragmatic brand that knows its history?

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” read the teaser for the ad Kaepernick tweeted.

Two years on, the Kaepernick story still dominates the NFL narrative and polarises public opinion. 

The out-of-work NFL star, depending on your political sensibilities, is either a traitor to the flag or an athlete of true conviction, prepared to jeopardise his career to bring about social change. 

Many have hailed him as the latest hero to emerge from a proud lineage of politically outspoken African-American athletes that can be traced back to the iconic legacies of Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos through the 1960s and beyond, before being punctuated by the more apolitical and corporate-friendly Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods in the 90s and 00s.

With the NFL season formally commencing this Thursday, the league and its franchise owners continue

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