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Nike airs Colin Kaepernick commercial during Falcons vs. Eagles season opener

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The NFL still can’t escape Colin Kaepernick, even years after he last played a down.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 2017 Sportsperson of the Year Show Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

There’s no question that the NFL wants to wash their hands of Colin Kaepernick. He was the catalyst to an escalating PR catastrophe that has resulted in countless players kneeling during the anthem, countless tweets from President Trump, and the planned $100 million in donations to social justice issues.

Despite some new rules and the massive donation, it seems like no one is happy. Now the NFL is on the defensive again, as long-time sponsor Nike has not only given Kaepernick a sweetheart deal, but made him the center of a massive ad campaign.

While the NFL certainly wants to put this fiasco in their rearview mirror, Nike just kicked off their ad campaign during the season opener Thursday Night Football game. There’s no turning a new page on this year, as the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles open the season with Kaepernick in the backdrop.

Kaepernick tweeted the full two minute commercial yesterday on his official Twitter account.

The commercial, narrated by Kaepernick, showing a number of people overcoming disabilities to eventually reach their dream, including the one handed Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin.

The ad campaign puts even more pressure on the NFL. Can they take a hardline against Nike, the company that makes the NFL millions, and even makes their jerseys?

The answer to that is unclear. The only thing clear is that Kaepernick’s campaign won’t be swept under the rug. While the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is unlikely to see the field this year, don’t be surprised to see him on game day commercials throughout this season.

In the meantime, the Falcons will try keeping their very narrow 6-3 lead just after halftime.