Nike made headlines when they announced Colin Kaepernick would be one of their spokesmen for their new “Just Do It” 30th anniversary campaign. Although controversial, Nike felt as though his message was an important one to support.
Perhaps one of Kaepernick’s biggest supporters is none other than former Los Angeles Lakers star, Kobe Bryant. Bryant has previously been very vocal about his support for Kaepernick’s actions, saying that he would’ve protested had he still been playing.
With that, Bryant acknowledged he too would’ve received and accepted the criticism that’s been heaped on other athletes who have aligned themselves with Kaepernick’s message.
Now, with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback again in the spotlight, Bryant showed his support for Nike and Kaepernick, via Twitter:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) September 4, 2018
Kaepernick is easily one of sports most polarizing athletes. But to have Bryant, who is extremely well respected, on his side shows that there must be some validity to what he is trying to do.
The Kaepernick saga will continue so long as he doesn’t have a job within the NFL, and the controversial nature of talking about him will continue as well. Bryant, as previously mentioned, stated that he would protest if given the chance.
That is important to Kaepernick’s cause as thus far protesting during the national anthem is something that has largely stayed in the NFL. And, when the protests were at the height of discussion, NBA commissioner Adam Silver reinforced the already-written rule that all players must stand during the national anthem.
While we’ll never know for sure, it would’ve been very interesting to see how the protests would’ve affected the NBA had Bryant still been playing. For now, though, players like LeBron James, rather than kneeling, will use their platform to bring these issues to light and really spark a discussion within and outside the sports world.