“Why would you put a controversial figure in a non-controversial ad? Nike may be trying to introduce him in a way that is not inflammatory… Maybe they had different ads and the reaction was so negative that they didn’t run the controversial ad.”
-- Clay Travis.
Nike aired their immensely anticipated Colin Kaepernick commercial during NBC’s Thursday Night Football telecast, just days after it was revealed that the polarizing former NFL quarterback would be the company's spokesperson for a new national ad campaign.
The commercial was unanimously received warmly, which surprised many media members and fans alike who assumed Nike was going to continue to thrust Colin Kaepernick’s war with the NFL into their ‘sacrifice everything’ promotion.
Instead, Kaepernick ardently narrated uplifting and motivating dialogue over short video reels of tales presenting heroic and extraordinary athletic achievements.
Clay Travis says the reverse heel-turn was actually a way for Nike to rebrand Colin Kaepernick as a more sympathetic figure, which is opposite of what many his critics consider him, with his indelible likeness kneeling in front of the American flag burning in the hearts of many individuals who deemed the protests offensive and disrespectful to the country.
Regardless of Kaepernick’s infamous history, Clay doesn’t see a real reason why Nike would sign Kaepernick if they weren't going to try and market his themes of protest, and even theorized that Nike may have originally presented a small cut of a much more inflammatory commercial than the one that aired Thursday night that was later scrapped after it was received negatively during test screenings.
Listen to the full audio below.