Nike continued its efforts to commercialize and profit from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s social justice activism, commemorating the four-year anniversary of his national anthem kneeling protest with a special jersey.
The jersey is all black, featuring Kaepernick’s number, 7, and the words “True to 7” on the collar.
“Four years ago, I took a knee to protest against systemic racism and social injustice,” Kaepernick wrote on social media. “It was that day that the number on my jersey would come to represent something greater than football, something greater than me. Since then, the number 7 jersey has been a symbol for advancing the liberation and well-being of Black & Brown communities. Thank you for staying True.”
The jersey, priced at $150, sold out within minutes after being released. Previous special releases of jerseys, shoes, and T-shirts featuring Kaepernick have also quickly sold out. From Yahoo Sports:
It’s the second time a Kaepernick jersey launch with Nike has sold out shortly after opening period. The company released an all-black “Icon Jersey” with a white No. 7 on the front in February 2019. In that instance, Kaepernick took to social media about 10 hours later to say they had sold out.
It’s unclear how many jerseys and T-shirts Nike had available for any of the launches. And in October 2018, a “Kaepernick icon tee” sold out in a couple of hours. It’s unclear how many jerseys and T-shirts Nike had available for any of the launches.
“The Colin Kaepernick Icon Jersey 2.0 marks Nike’s continued product collaboration with Colin and celebrates those making a positive impact in their community through sport and education,” Nike said in a statement. “This celebration is represented in the meaning behind the line, True to 7”
Years after Kaepernick played his last NFL game, the same protests that he claims got him blackballed from the league have now been fully embraced by the league, which implemented numerous social justice-themed aspects to game days. Many players on multiple teams kneel or stay in the locker room during the national anthem,
Kaepernick, however, has attacked the league for the social justice emphasis, calling it “propaganda.”
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid for fighting for the Black community,” Kaepernick wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league.”