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LeBron sides with Nike on Kaepernick decision

Thursday, September 06, 2018

NEW YORK, United States (AP) — Clutching his young daughter in his arms, LeBron James said he stands with Nike, a clear reference to the company's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.

The basketball superstar — and new Los Angeles Laker — made the remarks as he received an award Tuesday for both his style and his philanthropy from Harlem's Fashion Row. The fashion collective partnered with Nike for the New York event, both a fashion show and an awards ceremony that focused on diversity in the fashion world. The evening culminated in the reveal of the latest LeBron James Nike basketball shoe: a women's sneaker designed by three female African-American designers and inspired by strong African-American women.

In emotional remarks, James paid tribute to the three women in his life — his mother, wife and three year-old daughter, Zhuri.

Closing his remarks, he said he stood “for anybody who believes in change.” He added: “I stand with Nike, all day, every day.”

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, unveiled his first ad of the new campaign Monday. “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” it said.

The new endorsement deal has sparked vigorous debate, with some fans expressing displeasure over the apparel giant's support of a player known for starting a wave of protests among NFL players against police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues.

Some angry fans were even burning and cutting out the signature swoosh logos on their gear — and posting the results on social media.

But Kaepernick and his Nike campaign, which marks the 30th anniversary of Nike's “Just Do It”, received plenty of support from the fashion world in attendance Tuesday.