Athletes side with Kaepernick as Nike ‘Just Do It’ ad goes viral

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Some of the biggest names in sports, entertainment and politics have taken to Twitter to show their support for civil rights activist and Black Lives Matter supporter Colin Kaepernick, after the former American football player become the new face of Nike’s ‘Just Do it’ ad campaign.

Kaepernick, 30, who is currently without a team, sparked a wave of protests across the National Football League and other athletic events in 2016 after he started kneeling during the American national anthem to protest against police brutality against African Americans.

“Believe in something,” Nike’s new tagline read in a tweet posted by Kaepernick.

“Even if it means sacrificing everything”.

The tweet immediately went viral, garnering millions of interactions and the #Nike hashtag becoming a worldwide trending topic.

Kaepernick, who has not played football since 2017 after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers, has repeatedly been attacked by US President Donald Trump over his public stand, with Trump calling on NFL team owners to fire such players.

Brushing aside the issue of racism, Trump attacked the protesting players last year, accusing them of showing “total disrespect of our heritage”.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He’s fired”.

Kenney Stills, a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins tweeted: “#IMWITHKAP”.

Kelvin Beachum, who plays for the New York Jets tweeted a raised fist emoji, which is commonly used to show support for African American and minority rights issues.

Russell Okung, an offensive tackler for the Los Angeles Chargers, wrote on twitter: “Be like NIKE, don’t be like Papa Johns.”

Papa Johns courted controversy last year after weighing in on the national anthem protest.

The Daily Stormer, a white-supremacist website, published an article asking whether Papa John’s was the “official pizza of the alt-right”.

Samuel L. Jackson, who has starred in hit films such as Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and the Avengers franchise tweeted: “Oh s**t @Nike done stepped in it now!!! Sanctions tbd!!!”

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who’s been tweeting with greater frequency as of late, called Kaepernick “one of the best quarterbacks in the league”.

“The #NFL season will start this week, unfortunately once again @Kaepernick7 is not on a NFL roster,” he wrote. “Even though he is one of the best Quarterbacks in the league”.

US Senator Ted Cruz used the tweet for political point-scoring, and quote-tweeted the former anti-American president.

“When a radical anti-Semite, anti-American Iranian dictator emphatically agrees with you, maybe that’s a sign that Beto, the NFL, and Nike are all on the wrong side of the American people,” Cruz wrote.

Earlier this year, the NFL announced that it would impose fines on teams should their players choose to kneel in protest during the national anthem

WATCH: Taking a stand by bending a knee: How Colin Kaepernick started a movement (2:42)

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from Viral Trendy Update