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Former MLB pitcher and two-time World Series champion David Wells took shots at Nike for the company's support of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick when he kneeled during the United States national anthem.
Wells spoke to Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo and explained that had he been playing when Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, he would have cut out the Nike logo from his jersey.
Nike famously began an ad campaign with the quarterback shortly after his publicity stunt, culminating in a widely mocked image of Kaepernick's face that said, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."
“When Kaepernick took the knee, and you know, against our national anthem — and I’m a huge, huge military supporter; that’s what my foundation is all about — for Nike to jump on board and reward this guy for that, you know, and the things that are going on. I told myself if I was playing in today’s game, and we had Nike jerseys, I’d tape it up, I’d cut a hole in it.”
In early September 2023, Wells appeared at the New York Yankees Old Timers' Day, where he appeared in a Yankees jersey with tape covering the Nike logo, Outkick reported.
Fox Sports reporter Deesha Thosar reported that not only did Wells cover the Nike logo, when asked why, he replied, "I hate Nike!" and reportedly convinced others to cover the logo on their jerseys, as well.
David Wells, at Yankees Old Timers' Day, has a piece of tape covering the Nike logo on his Yankees uniform. Asked why, he said: "I hate Nike!" and if he was playing today, he'd cut the logo out and just have a hole in his jersey. Wells convinced some other players to do it too.— Deesha (@Deesha) 1694276177
“[The tape] fell off,” Wells joked. “It wasn’t staying on very well. So, I have to find some thicker tape or some stickier tape.”
The former pitcher for the Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox also discussed the politicization of sports, particularly with transgender athletes competing against women.
“Now with these companies that are coming out and jumping on board and trying to change the game and put a lot of politics in the game, to me, I think it’s confusing a lot of the players because they’re afraid to speak up.”
Wells pointed to former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines as a voice of reason when it comes to men entering women's sports. Gaines famously competed against a male swimmer in national collegiate-level tournaments.
“Riley Gaines, I mean, she is so spot-on when it comes to transgender (athletes) in sports; men playing women’s sports. It’s just, you can’t do that. It’s not right and it’s dangerous," Wells stated.
“If I was to say, I’m going to switch over and I’m going to go play women’s sports, I’m gonna hurt somebody, especially if I’m throwing 95 [MPH].”
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