"We are calling on all our member officers, their families and friends to join in boycotting all Nike products."
Last night Nike unveiled a polarizing new ad as part of its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign, which features free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick along with the caption, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."
The ad elicited a strong response, as expected, with several athletes, celebrities and politicians showing support of the campaign while others took to social media to cut the Nike swooshes off their own clothes and burn their Nike sneakers. Click here to see some of those reactions.
Among those calling for a Nike boycott is the National Association of Police Organizations an interest group that represents more than 241,000 officers, according to TMZ. "In featuring Mr. Kaepernick in the 'Just Do It' campaign, Nike grossly insults the men and women who really do make sacrifices for the sake of our nation," the letter obtained by TMZ Sports reads. "We are calling on all our member officers, their families and friends to join in boycotting all Nike products."
The letter also reads:
"The inclusion of Mr. Kaepernick in Nike’s “Just Do It” ad campaign also perpetuates the falsehood that police are racist and aiming to use force against African Americans and persons of color. In reality, officers across the nation risk their lives not only protecting the athletes featured in Nike’s various campaigns, but also serve aspiring athletes across the country who use the Nike brand, through the thousands of Police Athletic Leagues, Boys and Girls Clubs and Big Brother/Big Sister programs where our officers donate their time and energy. They deserve to have the respect and full support of corporate citizens like Nike."
"Adding to the insult is the image of Mr. Kaepernick from the campaign featuring the quote “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The fact that Mr. Kaepernick is no longer a starting NFL player does not equate to him being someone who has “sacrificed everything”. To truly understand what it means to “believe in something” and “sacrifice everything”, you should look to Arlington National Cemetery, or to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, D.C., or to the trauma unit of a military hospital. The brave men and women of every race and color buried there, memorialized there, healing there, believed in this nation and our flag and exemplify the true meaning of “sacrifice”."
In addition to Kaepernick, Nike's 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign, which is meant to specifically speak to 15- to 17-year olds, also features Serena Williams, LeBron James, Odell Beckham Jr., Lacey Baker and Seattle Seahawks rookie Shaquem Griffin.
"We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce 'Just Do It' to a new generation of athletes," Fisanotti said, per ESPN.