‘American Sniper’ Widow Taya Kyle Reacts to Kaepernick’s Nike Campaign

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
September 5, 2018Sports News

“American Sniper” widow Taya Kyle issued a reaction after Nike revealed a new campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick started the controversial form of protest in the league that has players kneel while the National Anthem is played before games. The protests are one reason NFL viewership continues to decline.

Nike announced this week that Kaepernick was one of the faces of its new campaign, a re-brand of the famous “Just Do It.”

The slogan for the campaign is “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Kaepernick’s post on Twitter showing an image from the campaign went viral, prompting a range of reactions.

'American Sniper' widow reacts to Nike's Kaepernick campaign
Taya Kyle, wife of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, in a 2015 file photo. Kyle reacted to news that Colin Kaepernick was the featured face of a new Nike campaign by questioning the decision on Sept. 4, 2018. (Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images)

‘American Sniper’ Widow Reacts

Taya Kyle, the widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, a veteran who was murdered by a mentally ill man he was mentoring in 2013, was one of the many who reacted to the campaign.

“Sacrificing what exactly? A career?” Kyle wrote in a Facebook post. “At best, that is all Colin sacrificed … some money, and it’s debatable if he really lost his career over it.”

“How about other warriors? Warriors who will not be on magazine covers, who will not get lucrative contracts and millions of followers from their actions and who have truly sacrificed everything,” Kyle added.

“They did it because they believed in something. Take it from me, when I say they sacrificed everything, they also sacrificed the lives of their loved ones who will never be the same. THAT is sacrificing everything for something they believe in.”

She later added, “Taking a stand, or rather a knee, against the flag which has covered the caskets of so many who actually did sacrifice everything for something they believe in, that we all believe in? Well, the irony of your ad..it almost leaves me speechless. Were you trying to be insulting?”

Kyle then announced she would join the others who have switched from Nike to another company for their sports apparel and other needs following the campaign announcement.

Nike Stock Drops

Nike stock took a dip following the campaign announcement, dropping from $82.18 on Aug. 31 to $79.01 on Sept. 4.

The campaign has proven divisive, just as the kneeling protests have been. A number of people praised featuring Kaepernick, while others were so upset they started burning their Nike gear.

Analysts fell on both sides as well. Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, was among those against the move.

“Nike’s campaign will generate both attention and discussion which is, arguably, one of its central aims,” he wrote in a report Tuesday, reported CNN. “However, it is also a risky strategy in that it addresses, and appears to take sides on, a highly politicized issue.”

Tom Stringfellow, chief investment officer with Frost Investment Advisors, fell on the other side.

“This is a company that’s not afraid to take sides,” he said. “It’s part of the brand to be controversial and get their name out there.”

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