It’s a good thing the UFC is sponsored by Reebok, and not Nike, otherwise Colby Covington might have some explaining to do.
Earlier this week, Nike unveiled an ad to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign and chose former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face. Kaepernick, who spent six years in the NFL, gained attention for his on-field political action in 2016, when he took a knee during the national anthem in protest of social injustice.
Kaepernick, 30, hasn’t played in the NFL since and is accusing the league of colluding to keep him off the field because of the player protests he instigated.
Nike’s ad features a black-and-white close-up of Kaepernick’s face and a message in white letters that serves as a clear show of support for his cause.
“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
On Tuesday, Covington took to Twitter to rip Nike and Kaepernick for the campaign and called for a boycott of the athletic apparel giant.
I grew up in Oregon and was around @Nike my whole life. It’s funny watching a company that uses child slave labor overseas to make their products all of a sudden become humanitarians. #PatTillman is an NFL/American Hero. @Kaepernick7 is just a spineless sack of (expletive). #NikeBoycott
Covington’s mention of Pat Tillman as an “NFL/American Hero” is in reference to the former Arizona Cardinals safety dropping his NFL career to joined the Army following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Tillman died while serving in Afghanistan.
Colby Covington, Donald Trump and the chaos since winning UFC gold
Covington’s scathing remarks against Nike and Kaepernick should come as no surprise. The still current UFC interim welterweight champion is a staunch supporter of President Trump and visited him at the White House last month. Trump has criticized the NFL numerous times for not forcing players to stand during the national anthem before games. On Tuesday, Trump said Nike’s Kaepernick ad sends “a terrible message.”
Covington won the interim championship in June by defeating Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225. The UFC wanted Covington to unify the title against undisputed champ Tyron Woodley in the headliner of this Saturday’s UFC 228, but “Chaos” was unable to meet that timeline because of injuries. Darren Till got the nod instead, and Covington will be officially stripped of his interim title once the bell rings.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.