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Trump rips NFL, Nike in wake of Kaepernick ad

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE on Wednesday blasted the NFL and Nike after the latter featured free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of its latest ad campaign, prompting anger from conservatives.

"Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts," Trump tweeted.

"I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way?" Trump added. "As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!"

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Trump's comments come a day before the NFL season kicks off on Thursday, with some uncertainty about how protests will be handled.

Trump told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that Nike sent a "terrible message" by using Kaepernick for the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" ad campaign.

However, the president acknowledged that Nike has a right to share whatever message it chooses.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was the first NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice, and has remained unsigned for nearly two years. 

Nike released an ad on Monday featuring Kaepernick and the message "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

The company's stock dropped a little more than 3 percent on Tuesday, and the decision to feature Kaepernick sparked protests among some customers who took to social media to share videos and photos of them destroying their Nike products.

In Kaepernick's absence, numerous other NFL players have continued to take a knee, raise a fist or remain off the field during the national anthem to protest social injustice.

Trump has continued to pressure the league over the protests, calling on players who demonstrate during the anthem to be fired, and suggesting those individuals don't belong in the country. The president recently attacked CBS and ESPN over their decisions not to broadcast the anthem, although ESPN has not aired the anthem in previous years.

NFL owners initially caved to pressure from Trump and his supporters earlier this year when they approved a policy that would fine players who kneel during the anthem. However, the league has since put that policy on hold.

--Updated at 10:04 a.m.