One of the scorching-hot takes emerging from Saturday’s Colin Kaepernick workout is that Kaepernick and Nike wanted to use the event for the sole purpose of producing a new commercial.
Via Kevin Draper of the New York Times, a Nike spokesman said that the company did not have a camera crew on the ground at the workout, and that the company has no plans to use footage from Kaepernick’s workout. Apparently, Nike only wanted permission to use the names of the teams that attended the workout.
The notion that Kaepernick and Nike had ulterior motives came from the NFL’s too-long-didn’t-read statement on the Kaepernick workout, which included this: “Last 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.”
Nike, the league’s official uniform provider, partnered with Kaepernick in September 2018. Some thought that the success of the relationship would prove to the league the value of embracing Kaepernick, who sold plenty of 49ers jerseys even after he stopped playing for the 49ers.
That’s the angle that continues to be lost in all of this. Despite the vocal minority that despises Kaepernick and huff and puffs whenever his name comes up, Kaepernick’s return to the NFL would result in a spike in jersey and apparel sales, with his supporters buying the merchandise in droves.