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

Rita Devlin Marier

Bloomberg

| Tue, September 11, 2018 | 04:00 pm
Nike's controversial Kaepernick ad wins Kanye West's approval

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,” 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:

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:

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:

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:

 

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