The offer Adidas made to former NFL quarter Colin Kaepernick includes a condition that makes it appear that the company is all talk about supporting activist athletes.
A team must hire Kaepernick before Adidas signs the controversial player to an endorsement deal, Mark King, president of the Adidas’ North America division, said on Friday, according to the Arizona Republic.
The offer came during a question-and-answer session with Kenneth L. Shropshire, CEO of Arizona State University’s Global Sport Institute
“We love athletes that have a platform to make the world a better place,” King said. “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.”
Kaepernick stepped onto the national stage in 2016 when he began protesting racial bias in the criminal justice system by kneeling during the national anthem. Conservatives were outraged, calling Kaepernick and the mostly Black players who kneeled during the anthem unpatriotic.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback went unsigned by a team in the 2017 season. He’s alleged, in a grievance filed with the NFL, that team owners have colluded to keep him unsigned.
Adidas seems to want it both ways: pleasing Kaepernick’s supporters with its offer, while not having to face the wrath of Kaepernick’s opponents because he’s unlikely to play in 2018. Las Vegas odds makers predicted in 2017 that the Super Bowl quarterback was a long shot to get a contract with an NFL team. And the odds are even greater that he won’t play in the 2018 season.
NewsOne contacted Adidas to request a comment on this article. The company has yet to respond.