This Is the Reason People Are Setting Their Nike Sneakers on Fire
What's that smell, you ask? It might just be the stench of crispy Nike sneakers roasting over an open flame.
Outraged citizens took to social media on Tuesday to protest the American sports apparel company after it released a new ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick, the NFL free agent who began kneeling during the National Anthem when he played for the San Francisco 49ers as a peaceful protest against police brutality on black Americans. The quarterback inspired protests throughout the league, inciting a nationwide controversy stoked by President Trump's attack on the act, which he called disrespectful to American veterans.
VIDEO: Trump: Nike 'Getting Absolutely Killed With Anger and Boycotts'
"Due to your support of C.K. in your coming adds [sic], I as an American can no longer support your company," wrote one Twitter user who threw his kicks in a fire. In addition to burning their shoes and products, protestors have cut the Nike swoosh logos off of their socks as well.
On Labor Day, the Oregon-based company unveiled the latest iteration of its iconic "Just do it" campaign featuring Kaepernick's face with the words, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything." Though he is not currently signed with any team in the NFL, the 30-year-old has signed on with Nike for a multi-year deal, according to CBS San Francisco.
The quarterback previously had a deal with the company that was set to expire, however he was resigned in time for the 30th anniversary of the "Just do it" campaign. His new contract will include an apparel line as well as contributions to his Know Your Rights charity.
According to Reuters, the company's stock dropped 2.1 percent early Tuesday morning in the wake of the boycott.
Several of Nike's supporters called out those who chose to set their sneakers on fire by imploring them to donate their shoes to homeless veterans instead. Others called out the protestors for putting "their songs and flags and privilege, above the lives of people of color."
The company has publicly taken progressive stances in the past on issues including the Trump administration's travel ban, which also spurred a number of boycotts that included the destruction of their products.
Nike has also signed a number of progressive athletes to its roster, including LeBron James, who was denounced by the president on Twitter last month after the NBA star spoke critically of his politics.
In recent months, consumers have also destroyed Keurig machines and New Balance sneakers (again using fire, and sometimes golf clubs) in response to moves that some customers interpreted as politically divisive.