Former NFL player Burgess Owens tore into Nike for making Colin Kaepernick the new face of its “Just Do It” campaign, comparing the act to “9/11 and Pearl Harbor.”

Burgess, who played for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, spoke with Fox Business host Stuart Varney and referred to Kaepernick as Nike’s “Marxist” representative.


Kaepernick, a former quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, became the first player to take a knee during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season as part of an effort to protest social injustice. He became a free agent at the end of the season and has remained unsigned.

“We have to look at the bigger picture and understand in America that we’re under assault,” Owens said. “It’s like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, we’re being assaulted by the left. And we need to understand who they are.”

Burgess said that Americans can’t let players “get away” with protesting during the anthem.

“It’s not American, it’s not about patriotism. It’s profit and politics for them,” Burgess said of the protests.

Burgess’s comments came the day before the 17th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Nike's move to make Kaepernick the face of its campaign sparked outrage from President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE and his base, prompting some to post videos and pictures to social media of them destroying their Nike products.

Despite the backlash, Nike’s online sales appear to have soared following the release of the campaign.