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Controversial Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick wins Emmy Award

A year after the scandalous advert was released, it has won Nike its first 'Outstanding Commercial' Emmy since 2002

Controversial Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick wins Emmy Award

On September 5, 2018, Nike celebrated its 30th anniversary with a controversial advert starring former San Francisco 49ers football quarterback Colin Kaepernick. At the time, the ad was highly criticized for its overtly political tone due to the sports brand's association with the ex-NFL member. In 2016, after Kaepernick started kneeling during the United States national anthem at football games in protest against police brutality and racism, he was condemned by the league's association members, his own team's coach, and even President Donald Trump. Ultimately, he opted out of his contract and chose to dedicate his life to activism. Being part of the Nike Dream Crazy advertisement was part of his way of raising awareness. Now, a year since it was first released, the scandalous ad has won the 2019 Outstanding Commercial Emmy Award much to critics' chagrin, The Guardian reports.


In the advert, Kaepernick affirms, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it." At the time, Trump stated regarding the commercial's message, "I think it’s a terrible message that [Nike] are sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it. 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." However, the risky decision has resulted in the brand's first Emmy Award in 17 years. The last time Nike won an Emmy was in the year 2002 for their Move spot, which starred a number of famous as well as everyday athletes performing a range of athletic activities.


While the President and the NFL are yet to comment on the recent win, users on Twitter have taken to the platform in order to share their opinion. Garu_gary posted: Sorry to hear that LOW LIFE gets an award for NIKE. I will never buy any of Nike's products. Canadarin sarcastically added: Oh great, it can go with his Super Bowl ring. Oh, wait a minute... Never mind. However, some Twitter users were more supportive. Fdriscoll22 stated: That’s great. NOW LET HIM PLAY! JasonS423 pointed out: It seems the people on the right boycotting Nike didn’t work. JasonS423 is referring to the outcry from conservative individuals who were upset by Kaepernick's decision to kneel, claiming that he was disrespecting the nation overall.


Nike's Dream Crazy ad was not the last time the brand developed socially and politically charged content, according to CNBC. Following Kaepernick's special, Nike released an ad featuring Serena Williams titled Dream Crazier, wherein the 23-time Grand Slam winner highlights the hurdles women athletes have to confront. Additionally, the sports gear company worked in collaboration with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors in order to reveal a new team-branded Nike Pro Hijab for those who wish to remain conservative while playing their sport. As Nike's sales skyrocketed following their now-iconic Dream Crazy ad, perhaps the future of their marketing and advertising is more socially and culturally inclined.


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