Published 10:45 AM EDT Sep 8, 2018
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – A Nike ad campaign marking the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan began Monday, featuring free-agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick has become a polarizing figure since he began protesting racial injustice in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem. And while the response to the ad has been intense, with some calling for Nike boycotts, one prominent company spokesman on Friday called the campaign "beautiful."
“I think Nike is trying to get out ahead of it and trying to do something special, and I think they've done that,” Tiger Woods said after the second round of the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club outside Philadelphia. “It's a beautiful spot and pretty powerful people in the spot.”
Woods added he did not know about the ad campaign before it launched.
“They did not tell me it was coming,” he said. “When corporate does things that are outside of golf and outside of my realm, that's what they do.”
On Thursday, during the NFL’s kickoff game between the Atlanta Falcons and defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, Nike took the campaign one step further by airing a 90-second commercial featuring Kaepernick, who did the voiceover, LeBron James and Serena Williams. “It's only crazy until you do it. Just do it,” was the ending to the ad.
MORE: Colin Kaepernick featured in Nike's 'Just Do It' 30th anniversary ad
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President Donald Trump, who quickly seized on the issue in 2016, saying players should be fired or suspended for taking a knee, took to Twitter Friday morning and asked, “What was Nike thinking?”
Two weeks ago, at the Northern Trust in New Jersey, Woods tried to stay away from controversy when he was asked about his relationship with Trump. Woods, who has golfed with Trump and known him for many years, was also asked about some people being threatened by Trump “and his policy.”
“Well, he's the president of the United States. You have to respect the office,” Woods said at the time. “No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”