President Trump on Tuesday said Nike is sending a “terrible message” by featuring NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick in its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” advertising campaign.
“I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it,” Trump said in an interview with The Daily Caller.
“But I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it.”
But Trump also acknowledged that Nike has the right to feature Kaepernick in the advertisement.
“As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way — I mean, I wouldn’t have done it,” he said.
“In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”
The Hill reports that Trump also said in the interview that “Nike is a tenant of mine,” referencing Nike’s five-floor Niketown store at Trump’s property on 57th Street in New York City.
Nike on Monday unveiled the advertisement featuring Kaepernick, which includes a close-up photo of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s face accompanied by the words, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick became the first player to take a knee during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season as part of an effort to protest social injustice.
He became a free agent at the end of the season, and has remained unsigned.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018