A man paying tribute to a police officer who perished in the September 11 terror attacks took a veiled shot at Colin Kaepernick’s Nike campaign while speaking Tuesday at a remembrance ceremony in New York City.
“And my brother and hero, Port Authority Police Officer David P. LeMagne, who believed in something, even when it meant to sacrifice everything,” the unidentified mourner, apparently wearing a police uniform, said in reference to the controversial ad campaign.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, LeMagne (pictured, inset), 27, was one of 72 police officers killed while attempting to save those trapped inside World Trade Center. LeMagne had been employed by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department for just one year. He is survived by his sister and parents.
As Breitbart News extensively reported, Kaepernick is part of Nike’s 30th-anniversary campaign to mark the athletic shoe giant’s iconic “Just Do It” slogan. Kaepernick triggered a political firestorm after kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice and has not played in the NFL since early 2017.
Unveiled ahead of the 2018 NFL season, Nike’s Kaepernick ad displays a portrait of the former player with the slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Kaepernick shared the campaign ad on Twitter, along with the hashtag #JustDoIt.
Shortly after the ad campaign was revealed, ESPN reported that Nike secretly kept Kaepernick, who signed a sponsorship deal with the shoe giant in 2011, on its payroll since the kneeling controversy began. “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” Nike vice president Gino Fisanotti said in a statement.
Nike’s call center received an avalanche of criticism from customers in response to the advert, according to Rolling Stone. In an interview with the magazine, one Nike call center employee detailed what it was like to field the angry calls. “I had a white police officer call. He said, “I think he’s un-American, rude, disrespectful and I don’t understand why Nike would pick someone who hates America.” He said he goes out every day to work and protect people, and doesn’t know if [he’s] coming home that night,” the employee said.