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Why Are Americans Burning Their NIKES?

Nike's decision to have Colin Kaepernick, the first NFL player to kneel during the US national anthem to protest racism, as one of the faces for a new advertising campaign has sparked outrage among many Americans.

"Colin has been a Nike athlete since 2011," Nike spokeswoman Sandra Carreon-John said on Monday.

"Colin is one of a number of athletes being featured as part of our 30th anniversary of Just Do It."

The former NFL quarterback posted a black-and-white close-up of himself on Instagram and Twitter on Monday featuring the Nike logo and "Just do it" slogan along with the quote, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

Kaepernick was a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers for six years.

He stirred a national controversy by taking a knee while the anthem was played before games during the NFLs 2016 season to draw attention to police killings of black men and other issues.

The anthem protests, soon embraced by other players, raised the ire of some NFL fans and Trump, who has said he would love to see NFL owners fire football players who disrespect the American flag.

Following the announcement of Kaepernick fronting the sportswear companies new campaign, hashtags including #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt started trending on social media, with some people posting photos and videos burning Nike shoes and clothes in protest.

Kaepernick is currently involved in a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming he has been black-listed because of his politics.

However, the former San Francisco 49er is still one of the most popular football players in the US, last year he was named GQ's Citizen of the Year, while in April Amnesty International awarded him their Ambassador of Conscience Award.

AAP/SMH

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