Former Ohio State football player Joshua Perry is asking sports fans who are upset at Nike not to burn their shoes or apparel but to instead donate to those in need.
After Nike made former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick the face of its latest ad campaign, people posted videos of themselves setting Nike merchandise on fire to protest the decision. The Kaepernick ad was released on Monday.
Perry tweeted on Tuesday, pleading for disgruntled Nike fans to donate merchandise rather than burn it. He left an address for fans to ship merchandise to and wrote, “I’ll find an appreciative home for your stuff.”
“To all of the jerks destroying their @Nike wearables,” Perry tweeted, “you’re missing a wonderful opportunity here. You could easily take your newly unwanted items and donate them to people who would appreciate them. Because destroying yours still doesn’t create social change either folks!”
Perry later added that he was not calling Nike-burning fans jerks for their opinions, but for “ruining good products that could be donated to folks that would appreciate them. A lot of kids will go to school this fall with battered shoes and clothes that don’t fit.”
Perry, who played linebacker at Ohio State and helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2015 national title, announced his retirement from the NFL in July after two short seasons due to concern about concussions. In March, he founded the Joshua Perry Family Foundation, a nonprofit aiming to help underprivileged youth.
Kaepernick, who was the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem to peacefully protest social injustice and police brutality, hasn’t been on an NFL team since 2016. His inclusion in the Nike campaign spurred President Donald Trump to bash the company earlier this week.
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