John Rich Gloats on Twitter as Nike Stock Drops After Kaepernick Ad
John Rich fired one final broadside in his Twitter war against Nike after the stock market closed on Tuesday (Sept. 4). On Wednesday morning (Sept. 5), the Big & Rich singer tweeted a since-deleted screenshot showing that Nike's stock closed down by more than 3 percent after massive public protests over a new ad featuring Colin Kaepernick.
Nike launched a new ad campaign on Monday (Sept. 3), to mark the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" campaign, featuring the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback with the slogan, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything." Kaepernick sparked a national firestorm when he was the first NFL player to take a knee during the National Anthem during the 2016 football season, starting the movement that saw many other players protesting police violence toward minority communities and the shooting deaths of unarmed black men by law enforcement. He has remained an unsigned free agent in the wake of enormous controversy.
Rich was among many who criticized the ad on Monday, tweeting, "Hey @Nike I guess you made @Kaepernick7 your new 'face' of the brand because you love the way his socks look with your shoes? @Reebok here we come." The singer accompanied his protest with a picture of Kaepernick's socks, which depict cartoon police officers with pig faces. Rich's position drew both support and condemnation from various quarters, and he spent several hours debating with Twitter users that night.
See John Rich's Twitter Comments on Nike and Colin Kaepernick
After his post went viral, Rich issued an official statement on Tuesday afternoon to clarify his objection, saying he supports everyone's right to protest. He said his specific issue was with the pig socks, noting, "If @nike wants their 'swoosh' to be associated with calling our police 'Pigs' then so be it. I have a right to not purchase ... They are the farthest thing from pigs."
Reuters reports there were calls for a Nike boycott from some quarters on Tuesday, but according to Market Watch, Oppenheimer stock analyst Brian Nagel says the longterm messaging will overshadow the short-term losses for investors. “Over time, for [Nike], we think the power of the messaging from this new broader campaign is apt to overshadow any potential backlash, near term, in our view,” Nagel writes in a note to his clients.
Market Watch's live ticker showed Nike stock trending upward on Wednesday morning, up .34 percent since the market opened. Business Insider reports that the Kaepernick ad inspired millennials to start grabbing shares of the stock at record rates, helping to offset losses in other sectors of the marketplace.
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