Nike's controversial Kaepernick ad wins Kanye West's approval

Rita Devlin Marier | Bloomberg

Jakarta, posted: Tue, September 11, 2018 | 04:00 pm

Nike gained a new supporter late in the day: rapper Kanye West(Bloomberg/-)

After a tense week, where Nike lost $4.2 billion from its market capitalization after releasing a new ad campaign featuring the controversial football quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick, the company’s share price has mostly recovered. Moreover, it gained a new supporter late in the day: rapper Kanye West.

I stand for giving everyone a voice. Adidas giving me a voice and Nike giving Colin voice on a big business level makes the world a more advanced place.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) September 10, 2018

“I stand for giving everyone a voice,” he tweeted after market close today, referencing his own collaboration with Nike rival Adidas, which he designs top-of-the-line, limited-run Yeezy sneakers for. He followed up some 15 minutes later, with a second tweet:

Love vs. Fear I love when human beings are supported for using their voice

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) September 10, 2018

Nike’s ad featuring Kaepernick debuted on Labor Day, producing a boost in orders but garnering controversy. The football player helped spearhead a movement to kneel during the U.S. National Anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. While Nike shares fell, the campaign led to heated debate, and comment from public figures including President Donald Trump, who tweeted Friday:

Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018

West, a rapper, is no stranger to controversy himself. In May, Adidas’ CEO distanced himself from comments West made calling slavery "a choice," but called his collaboration with Adidas important for the company’s strategy and brand heat. West has also attracted attention after voicing his "love" for Trump, also on Twitter, in April this year:

You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018

Trump at the time responded with thanks, and reiterated that thanks in August.

Read also: Nike orders rose in four-day period after Kaepernick ad debut

However, West -- whose wife Kim Kardashian West tweeted pictures of her at the White House last week at a listening session about the clemency process -- could have roiled his previously positive relationship with the President with today’s tweet, or he could attract further ire toward Nike. Trump’s last tweet on the matter, sent Friday:

What was Nike thinking?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2018



Nike Kanye-West Colin-Kaepernick