Harlem’s Fashion Row honored LeBron James for not only his style but also his philanthropy on Tuesday night. While receiving an icon award, the NBA superstar said that he ‘stands with Nike’ for endorsing former NFL player turned activist Colin Kaepernick, according to NBA.com.
At the end of his acceptance speech, James made reference to Kaepernick being the face of the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign. The advert features the former quarterback’s face with the statement, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” superimposed on an image of his face.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
“I stand for anybody that believes in change,” James said while holding his 3-year-old daughter, Zhuri. “I stand for anybody that believes in a positive attitude and a positive matter. And I believe and stand with Nike all day, every day.”
Kaepernick was allegedly blackballed from the NFL after he began kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 season. He hoped the silent gesture would bring awareness to police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. Kap’s protest created a firestorm in the media about the importance of respecting the flag, which included harsh criticism from President Donald Trump.
After losing his spot in the league, the Wisconsin native donated $1,000,000 to charities across America and brought a collusion lawsuit against his former employer. Several people viewed Nike’s support of Kaepernick as disrespectful toward veterans and the nation.
The NFL has since implemented a ban on kneeling during the national anthem for the coming season.
James, who is also signed to Nike, has been outspoken about being Black in America. He also uses his platform to give back to his community. Most recently, The LeBron James Family Foundation opened up a public charter school in Akron, Ohio.
🎥: IG/clairesulmers pic.twitter.com/G3swP66R0K
— Complex (@Complex) September 5, 2018
The new Los Angeles Laker honored strong Black women in his life including his mother, Gloria, and his wife, Savannah, at The Harlem Row Fashion event. He also unveiled his latest Nike basketball shoe, a women’s sneaker designed by three African-American female designers.
— Mike Curtis (@MikeACurtis2) September 5, 2018