Nike airs Colin Kaepernick commercial during

Falcons vs.
Eagles season opener There’s no question that the NFL wants to wash their hands
of Colin Kaepernick. He was the catalyst to an escalating PR catastrophe that
has resulted in countless players kneeling during the anthem Youth
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, countless tweets from President Trump, and the
planned $100 million in donations to social justice issues. Despite some new
rules and the massive donation, it seems like no one is happy. Now the NFL is on
the defensive again, as long-time sponsor Nike has not only given Kaepernick a
sweetheart deal, but made him the center of a massive ad campaign.While the NFL
certainly wants to put this fiasco in their rearview mirror, Nike just kicked
off their ad campaign during the season opener Thursday Night Football game.
There’s no turning a new page on this year, as the Atlanta Falcons and
Philadelphia Eagles open the season with Kaepernick in the backdrop. Kaepernick
tweeted the full two minute commercial yesterday on his official Twitter
account.The commercial, narrated by Kaepernick, showing a number of people
overcoming disabilities to eventually reach their dream Youth
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, including the one handed Seattle Seahawks
linebacker Shaquem Griffin. The ad campaign puts even more pressure on the NFL.
Can they take a hardline against Nike, the company that makes the NFL millions,
and even makes their jerseys? The answer to that is unclear. The only thing
clear is that Kaepernick’s campaign won’t be swept under the rug. While the
former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is unlikely to see the field this year,
don’t be surprised to see him on game day commercials throughout this season.In
the meantime, the Falcons will try keeping their very narrow 6-3 lead just after
halftime. When the Falcons lost three key players to injured reserve in the
first three weeks of the season, it blew a hole in the middle of their
defense.Grady Jarrett‘s absence was much shorter (two weeks), but his return
from a sprained ankle sparked something in the Falcons last night.The massive
defensive tackle had two sacks in the first half, and that provided an obvious
lift for a team which continues to play without linebacker Deion Jones and
safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen.“It’s hard when you’re leader of a unit
and you’re out and you can go out there with your boys. Me coming back, I
definitely learned to show how much I cared about this team ,
this defense,” Jarrett said, via Vaughn McClure of “We’re a team that
knows everything that we want is still ahead of us.“And we’re going to approach
it in that way: Not let one win stay on our mind too long, not letting a loss
stay on our mind. We’re going to take this win and enjoy it, but we’ve got to
put it to bed [and] go back to work because we’ve got a long way to go. And
we’re a group of tough guys, man. We’ll never give up.”Of course, it’s possible
that the correct answer is “it was just the Giants.” The Falcons are still 3-4,
and have a lot of work to do to return to the land of contenders. But putting
the big man back in the middle of the line was a big boost.
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