Colin Kaepernick Nike ad: What Hollywood is saying about the controversial campaign

A new Nike advertisement features former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

On Monday, Nike unveiled an ad campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign, featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began the practice of kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in 2016 and hasn’t played professionally since.

The ads, which feature a close-up of Kaepernick’s eyes and the text “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” immediately reignited the debate over the propriety of the protest. One side, led by President Trump, says that refusing to stand during the anthem is an insult to the nation, flag, military and veterans, while the other argues that the military fights for Kaepernick’s right to protest in the way he sees fit.

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Alhough the debate has been raging for over two seasons and flares up just about every Sunday, this time was different because Nike, the biggest player in the athletic apparel game, was involved. Nike is the official apparel company of the NFL.

By Tuesday, boycott talk had begun, with Kaepernick critics burning or cutting up their Nike gear. John Rich of the country duo Big & Rich tweeted that their soundman, a former Marine, had cut the swoosh logo out of his socks. "Get ready @Nike. Multiply that by the millions,” he warned. (Indeed, Nike's share price dipped by about 2.1 percent Tuesday morning.)

Rich wasn't the only celebrity speaking out about the ad, but so far, he has been in the minority.

Here's what other stars had to say:

"Child, please," scoffed singer Tevin Campbell to boycotters. "(Nike will) be more than ok if you do and I’m sure they anticipated this foolery."

Comedian DL Hughley argued that the proposed Nike boycott is a "protest against a protest" and has "nothing to do with the flag or the anthem."

"Black Panther" star Michael B. Jordan simply posted the ad accompanied by a raised fist: 

"House of Cards" star Michael Kelly thanked Nike and Kaepernick "for the extra motivation this morning," adding the hashtag "#ImWithKap."

"Madam Secretary" star Erich Bergen lamented the energy being wasted, noting the country has much bigger fish to fry: "Half of Puerto Rico doesn't have power, there is a water crisis in Flint, and too many people in this country can't afford food today. If we put one ounce of the energy behind the #NikeBoycott behind an issue that actually mattered, we could solve it in a week. Wanna #MAGA? Focus."

And while he's not a star in the Hollywood sense, former CIA director John Brennan has been revered as such thanks to his criticism of President Trump’s performance, especially after it cost him security clearance. And he has the player’s back.

"Colin Kaepernick drew our collective attention to the problem of continued racial injustice in America. He did so not to disrespect our flag but to give meaning to the words of the preamble of our Constitution —  'in order to form a more perfect union.' Well done, Colin, well done," he wrote.

Emily Brandwin, a former CIA officer who appeared on digital companion series for FX’s “The Americans” and ABC’s “Quantico,” wrote, I served our country & love all she represents. I support & love our troops. I support @Kaepernick7 & am inspired by how he lives the American spirit by peacefully exercising his 1st Amendment right. That’s why I wear @Nike.”