There was plenty of interest — and media attention — surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s workout in Atlanta on Saturday.
But a Nike camera crew was not among those present for the session, the Beaverton, Ore.-based company confirmed today to FN. The brand does not plan at this time to use footage from the session in any of its advertising.
Nike’s statement comes in response to an NFL statement issued yesterday indicating that the brand and Kaepernick had made a number of requests on Friday regarding the session. The league said Kaepernick switched the location of the workout the same day of his session, Saturday afternoon, and that it learned along with the public that Kaepernick had moved the workout from the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility to a different site in Riverdale, Ga.
“[Friday] night, when Nike, with Colin’s approval, requested to shoot an ad featuring Colin and mentioning all the NFL teams present at the workout, we agreed to the request,” read the statement. “We heard for the first time last night, around the same time we heard from Nike, that Colin wanted to bring his own video crew. We heard for the first time this afternoon that Colin wanted to open the event to all media.”
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Kaepernick has been an NFL free agent since 2016. The former San Francisco 49er rose to national prominence that year when he began a kneeling movement during the “Star-Spangled Banner” in protest of police brutality and racism. NFL leadership did not approve of the movement, and Kaepernick claims he was essentially blackballed from the league.
The quarterback has been partnered with Nike for years; he was tapped to appear in the sportswear giant’s “Just Do It” 30th anniversary campaign in 2018. The advertisement sparked mixed reactions — ranging from high praise to shoe burning. However, the campaign was a financial success for Nike, with shares hitting an all-time high in September 2018 following the ad’s release.
The NFL said it was “disappointed” that Kaepernick did not appear at the Falcons training facility as planned; however, the league said the move in venue would have “no effect on his status in the league.”
“He remains an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any club,” read the NFL’s statement.
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