Houstonians react to Nike's partnership with controversial Kaepernick

By Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - There was a wide range of reactions Tuesday after Nike announced controversial former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be one of the faces of the company's new ad campaign commemorating the 30th anniversary of the "Just Do It" slogan.

People posted videos and pictures showing them burning their Nike gear or cutting out the iconic swoosh.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick weighed in with a Facebook post saying, "It is shocking that a company the size of Nike doesn't understand that the overwhelming majority of their customers stand for the National Anthem. This is offensive to them and to me. No more Nike at my house."

Many disagreed with Patrick and are applauding the company for siding with Kaepernick.

"I'm proud Nike is taking this stance and respecting our right to protest," said Laura Conely, of Houston.

"It's not disrespectful to take a knee," said Jennifer Sanchez, of Houston.

In August 2016, Kaepernick began the movement to kneel during the U.S. national anthem in protest of racial injustice.

He opted out of his contract with the 49ers last year and has been unsigned since.

Marketing and communications experts agree the company is taking a risk with their iconic brand, but a calculated one.

"I don't think Nike is quaking in their boots. When we're talking about the business of branding, Nike wins at that every time," said Dr. Felicia Harris, an assistant professor of communications at the University of Houston-Downtown.

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