Nike to release limited-edition Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor
Nike will sell a limited-edition black jersey for former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. (Angela Weiss/AFP)
Nike will sell a limited-edition black jersey for former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

Days after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick reached a settlement with the NFL, Nike announced on Wednesday that it will sell a special-edition Kaepernick jersey.

The jersey — dubbed an “Icon Jersey” — is all black with white lettering in a similar style to the #IMWITHKAP jerseys that Kaepernick quickly sold out of last fall with proceeds going to the Know Your Rights Campaign. It comes from men’s sizes small to 3XL and is sold for $150.

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Kaepernick became the face of Nike’s 30th anniversary for the “Just Do It” campaign in September, and this is his biggest item since the announcement. Previously Nike had sold a long sleeve T-shirt with his name on the back — which Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James wore before a preseason game — that has sold out twice.

Despite not playing in the NFL since the 2016 season because the league effectively blackballed him for kneeling to protest racial inequality and police brutality during the national anthem, Kaepernick has remained among the most popular athletes. Kaepernick had the most popular jersey at the start of the 2016 season, and he was still in the top 20 of jersey sales the following summer when no team would sign him.

Although many people have been upset at Nike for working with Kaepernick — from people burning their own Nike clothes they already bought to refusing to sell Nike clothes and effectively shuttering their own business — the partnership has worked out well for the athletics company. Nike’s stock is at an all-time high.

“We believe Colin Kaepernick is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” Nike spokesperson said, via The Undefeated.

Did LeBron get early access to the Icon Jersey?

Given how quickly the #IMWITHKAP jersey and Kaepernick long-sleeve sold out, the “True to 7” Icon Jersey is a good bet to move quickly. The jerseys may be expensive, but will they look good in person? Maybe you should ask LeBron James.

Earlier this month, Kaepernick posted a series of pictures to his Instagram with celebrities wearing his #IMWITHKAP jersey from athletes like Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and John Carlos to entertainers Jesse Williams, Trey Songz and Chamillionaire. James was among those featured, getting off the team plane on February 1, although his jersey was slightly different.

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A post shared by colin kaepernick (@kaepernick7) on Feb 2, 2019 at 5:31am PST

If you’ll notice, James jersey does not have #IMWITHKAP across the front, nor does it have the faux-NFL K logo on the center of the collar. Instead it has a Nike swoosh on the left arm and a black triangle with horizontal lines at the bottom the collar. Exactly like the now-released Icon Jersey.

Given James’ lifetime contract, it’s not a surprise that Nike would hook up their most prominent player with a jersey ahead of the release.

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