Canadian teen soccer star Alphonso Davies is among the athletes featured in a new Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick that’s drawing attention worldwide.
A two-minute commercial released online Wednesday has the former NFL quarterback speaking about athletes overcoming adversity to achieve greatness.
The ad includes footage of Davies scoring a goal for Canada’s men’s soccer team as Kaepernick says, “If you’re born a refugee, don’t let it stop you from playing soccer for the national team at age 16.”
The Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder was born in a refugee camp in Ghana after his parents fled the Liberian civil war, and the family immigrated to Canada when he was 5.
Kaepernick became the centre of controversy in the United States by kneeling during the American national anthem as a protest against racial injustice and police brutality. Now out of football, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is pursuing a collusion grievance against the NFL.
The ads feature Nike’s trademark "Just Do It" slogan alongside the quarterback’s face and the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Davies isn’t the only soccer player in the ad – the U.S. women’s team also gets camera time.
Basketball star LeBron James and tennis great Serena Williams are two of the most famous athletes in the ad.
Davies was first called up to play for Canada in July, 2017, shortly after he received his Canadian citizenship. He’s part of the national squad that will compete in a CONCACAF Nations League qualifier on Sunday against the Virgin Islands in Bradenton, Fla.
The 17-year-old made headlines around the globe this summer when he was transferred to German soccer giant Bayern Munich for a record-setting US$22-million. Davies will join the German team after the MLS season concludes.