Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks… Colin Kaepernick? Super Bowl champ says those raging against Nike will regret it

Two-time Super Bowl winner Osi Umenyiora placed Colin Kaepernick, the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem, in legendary company after Nike made the former 49ers quarterback the face of its latest “Just Do It” campaign.

‘Looking further back down the line, back in history, we’ve already seen what Muhammad Ali, what Rosa Parks have done. And when you look into the future, Colin Kaepernick is going to go down as this particular type of athlete, somebody who took a stand for something he believed in.’

Ali, of course, was stripped of his heavyweight title when he refused to enlist in the U.S. Army because of his religious beliefs and in protest of racial oppression. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong,” he famously said.

And Parks was hailed as “the mother of the freedom movement” by Congress after fighting against segregation laws by not giving up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ultimately, Umenyiora says, Kaepernick will also go down as an historic figure and “regarded as someone that did something special.”

As for those criticizing Nike
 for the controversial ad, like President Donald Trump and others burning the swoosh, Umenyiora told BBC Radio 5 that he expects they will look back with regret.

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“So Nike is eventually going to come down on the right side of history,” he explained. “We respect the office of the President of the United States but I’m not quite sure what he is doing.” Here was Trump’s reaction to the ad:

London-born Umenyiora played for the New York Giants, where he won two Super Bowl rings, and the Atlanta Falcons during his 11 years in the NFL. He currently works as a TV pundit on the U.K.

Nike shares took a hit when the campaign was first announced but have been on the mend since. The stock closed Thursday’s session up almost 1% while the S&P 500
 ended lower.

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