Nike’s new all-black Colin Kaepernick jersey that commemorates four years since he first took a knee during the national anthem sold out in less than a minute, the sports apparel company told CBS News on Friday. The kneeling protestsare meant to bring attention to police brutality and racial injustice.
Nike unveiled the monochromatic Icon Jersey 2.0 for $150 on Thursday morning – and it sold out within seconds. The company said on its website that the number 7 jersey pays homage to Kaepernick’s kneeling protests and it has “become an iconic symbol for progress and positive change.”
Kaepernick, who wore the number as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, talked about the significance of the jersey in an Instagram post.
“Four years ago, I took a knee to protest against systemic racism and social injustice. It was that day that the number on my jersey would come to represent something greater than football, something greater than me,” he wrote on Thursday. “Since then, the number 7 jersey has become a symbol for advancing the liberation and well-being of Black & Brown communities. Thank you for staying True.”
A Nike spokesperson told CBS News that company policy prevents it from disclosing the number of units sold. While the jersey still isn’t available on Nike’s website as of Friday, it appeared on eBay for hundreds of dollars more than it was originally.
It’s not the first time a Kaepernick-related product did well for Nike. Last year, Kaepernick wrote that the first Icon Jersey sold out shortly after being released. In 2018, the Kaepernick Icon Tee sold out online in a couple hours, according to his tweet.
The former 49ers quarterback, who remains unsigned, recently ripped the NFL’s social justice initiatives as “propaganda.” He also accused the league of “blackballing” free agent safety Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick in his sideline protests.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted in June that the league was “wrong” in taking so long to acknowledge the message behind the kneeling protests. Since then, the NFL has taken largely symbolic steps like allowing racial justice messages in end zones and on helmets and T-shirts. In an interview last month, Goodell said he should have “listened earlier” to Kaepernick.