President Donald Trump blasted Nike on Twitter Wednesday, saying the company is getting “killed” over an endorsement deal with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick
Less than two days after unveiling their latest advertising campaign which salutes the controversial quarterback, famous for his flag protests, Nike lost $3.75 billion in value on the stock market.
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Trump said, “Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way?”
Earlier this week, Nike unveiled a new deal with Kaepernick, who’s known for starting protests among NFL players against patriotic Americans, the deal cost the sports giant to close down at more than 3 percent on Tuesday.
The controversial campaign spurred debate among fans, with some urging a boycott of the Beaverton, Oregon-based company.
Neil Saunders, managing director of the data and analytics firm GlobalData, called the Kaepernick strategy “commercially imprudent.”
“Nike’s campaign will generate both attention and discussion which is, arguably, one of its central aims,” he said. “However, it is also a risky strategy in that it addresses, and appears to take sides on, a highly politicized issue. This means it could ultimately alienate and lose customers, which is not the purpose of a marketing campaign.”
According to Quartz, Nike’s stock suffered its biggest single-day drop in several months as a result.
Roughly $4 billion was erased from the mega sports company’s market capitalization.
One Twitter user tweeted on Tuesday, “Nike’s stocks look to be takin a knee today.”
Nike's stocks look to be takin a knee today???? pic.twitter.com/SrEPyrhVT0
— Christian Herrington (@christianh_88) September 4, 2018
Many other critics weighed in on Nike’s new deal with Kaepernick, including country music star John Rich who posted a picture of one of his crew members holding the tops of a cut pair of Nike socks, with the caption: “Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions.” The tweet garnered about 10,000 retweets and 30,000 likes.
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
Rich, part of the duo Big & Rich and a former contestant of President Donald Trump’s reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice,” said he supported the right to protest but Nike lost his support when it endorsed Kaepernick.
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Trump, a frequent critic of protesting NFL players, said Tuesday in an interview with The Daily Caller that he thinks it’s a “terrible message” for Nike to use Kaepernick in ads, but that it’s their decision whether to use the quarterback.
“I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it,” Trump said, adding it’s “a message that shouldn’t be sent.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.