Sportswear brand Nike stirred up a controversy by featuring Colin Kaepernick in its advertisement to promote the 30th anniversary of the brand's famous "Just do it' slogan.

Kaepernick is a retired NFL player, who is known for kneeling down during the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality against African-Americans and other hate crimes. He hasn't played since 2016 -- the same year when he kneeled during the National Anthem. 

The advertisement is a black and white shot of Kaepernick's face with the lines "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything". 

Dozens of other players joined Kaepernick, making him a symbol of the dividing lines over race in America, CNN reported. As a retaliation to this ad campaign, many Americans have destroyed their Nike products and posted videos on social media.

kaepernick kneeling
San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold (58), quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) and free safety Eric Reid (35) kneel in protest during the playing of the national anthem before a NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, California, Oct 6, 2016Reuters

United States President Donald Trump has also responded to the Nike ad campaign, saying the company is sending a "terrible message" by featuring Kaepernick.

"I think it's a terrible message. Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent," Trump told The Daily Caller.

However, amidst the raging controversy, the NFL issued a statement, attributing to Jocelyn Moore, the league's new vice president of communications and public affairs.

The statement read, "The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities. The social issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.

This is not the first time when people have protested against brands by destroying the goods they had previously purchased. In April, members of the National Rifle Association took aim at YETI coolers after the company cancelled its relationship with the gun-rights lobby.

Bloomberg reported that with the new ad campaign has given Nike a media coverage of $43 million. However, it has reported that Nike's shares closed down 3.2 per cent on Tuesday, the biggest one day drop since April. 

(With inputs from ANI)