A clothing company founded by veterans has responded to Nike’s collaboration with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick by launching a limited edition of ‘Just Stand’ t-shirts.
Nine Line Apparel introduced the new line in direct response to sports clothing brand Nike’s decision to use Kaepernick, who sparked a wave of hugely divisive NFL national anthem protests in 2016, as the new face of its iconic ‘Just Do It’ campaign.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, the company which describes itself as “relentlessly patriotic” is selling a range of ‘Just stand’ shirts for men, women and children. Former Army captain and CEO Tyler Merritt told ‘Fox and Friends’ on Saturday that “they decided to take a stance. This is our stand.”
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“It is absolutely absurd that Nike would feature Colin Kaepernick as the focus of their latest ad campaign. He has consistently disrespected our nation’s flag, values, and military by using the unifying moment of the singing of the national anthem to create political division,” Merritt told Savannah Now.
Merritt, who served multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan, also took issue with the slogan accompanying Kaepernick’s ad – ”Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
“The word ‘sacrifice’ in the military members, it’s something severe,” he said.
The endorsement deal between Nike and Kaepernick has unsurprisingly proven controversial, prompting some to call for a boycott of the company’s products. Despite the backlash, Nike reported a 31-percent increase in online sales over Labor Day weekend compared to the same period last year.
Kaepernick made the decision to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games in 2016 to highlight police brutality and racial inequality, yet aside from kneel, he has done nothing productive towards the cause he attests is worthy of so much attention.
BEHIND THE BRAND: NINE LINE APPAREL
In the military, a Nine Line is a medevac request for a soldier that is injured on the battlefield. To soldiers, a Nine Line symbolizes patriotism, hope, and trust in one’s countrymen.
As a life-style brand, Nine Line Apparel aims to reinvigorate the sense of patriotism and national pride that is disappearing daily from our society. Where politics and dissent divide our country, we hope to inspire unity and brotherhood among all Americans as patriots under our common flag.
At its core, Nine Line is a give-back organization, forever striving to be our brother’s keeper, and encouraging others to do the same. We support a multitude of initiatives beyond raising awareness, and financially back organizations that help those in need.
From first responders to military charities to disaster relief initiatives, Nine Line is committed to ongoing support of charitable initiatives. No matter the circumstances, we’ve got your six. To learn more about our Foundation, please visit www.ninelinefoundation.org.