Although the clothing brand sponsors people who don’t play sports, it says it wants Kaepernick to join a team first
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed due to his peaceful protests of racial injustice in the United States. Other than the lack of a paycheck from NFL teams, he also lacks something that most big-name athletes can count on: a sponsorship.
Recently, an executive at Adidas mentioned Such a sponsorship, saying that the company wants to sign Kaepernick to an endorsement deal, but only once he’s on an NFL roster.
“If he signs on a team, we would definitely want to sign him,” Mark King, president of the company’s North America division said on Friday, via AZCentral.
He also went on to say that Adidas isn’t “in the business of activism, we’re in the business of sport,” but that “allowing our athletes to tell their story, it’s really important to us.”
Kaepernick is an athlete, whether he’s signed with an NFL franchise or being strung-along by one. And Adidas has a history of signing non-athlete celebrities to endorsement deals (see Kendall Jenner).
Of course, King also suggested that Adidas didn’t want to be perceived as “taking advantage of this noise or interest that [Kaepernick] had generated,” while then saying that Adidas “loves athletes that have a platform to make the world a better place.”
“If they’re an activist in a way that brings attention to something that moves the world forward, even if there’s controversy at that moment, we’re really interested in those athletes because I think it represents the world today,” King said.
Sure seems like Kaepernick fits that bill.
Signing with the Seattle Seahawks or another organization wouldn’t alter Kaepernick’s message, a message that several NFL players joined in on delivering by peacefully protesting during the national anthem played before NFL games in 2017.
Eric Reid, Kaepernick’s former teammate and the first to join him in the protests, is currently getting similar treatment as a free agent, and saw a visit with the Cincinnati Bengals fall apart over them.