Nike alerts retailers after bogus Kaepernick coupons offer discount to ‘people of color’ – report
Nike has alerted retailers over an online scam involving fake coupons featuring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick which claim to offer discount on products for “people of color,” according to reports in the US media.
The bogus coupons have circulated online in recent days, and were said to have initially been posted on image-sharing website 4chan.
They feature the face of ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick, who started the controversial ‘take a knee protests’ and who recently became the face of Nike’s 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ campaign.
The coupons claim to offer a 75 percent discount on all shoes for “people of color” until 2019, and feature the slogan “Believe in Something” – which was used in the new campaign involving Kaepernick.
ATTENTION EVERYONE!! someone on 4-chan made a fake Nike "coupon" targeting people of color. if you scan the qr code on the coupon it says "This is a ROBBERY, Move slowly and put all the LARGE bills in the shoe box OR everyone DIES." please stay safe and spread this!! DO NOT USE! pic.twitter.com/IxJAR9uLJy— ngul tsakx☁️ (@soulsandhoodies) September 13, 2018
They also feature a barcode, while some versions included a QR which, when scanned, prompted a message reading, “This is a ROBBERY, Move slowly and put all the LARGE bills in the shoe box OR everyone DIES,” USA Today reports.
Some have slammed the coupons for "casually trying to get black people arrested or killed."
4Chan /pol users are casually trying to get black people arrested or killed this week. They've created several fake Nike coupons for "people of color" in light of the Kaepernick deal. The QR code on one of them, when scanned with a barcode reader, displays a threatening message: pic.twitter.com/0TDA3Ep9JK— Dan Mac Guill (@danmacg) September 7, 2018
The fake offer has been slammed by consumer rights officials as "a racial statement masquerading as a scam.”
“I wouldn’t characterize this as a scam, but a full on racial epithet,” said Jack Gillis, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America, according to USA Today.
“This is nothing more than a dog whistle to a small, and unfortunate, segment of America. Another way to put it is that this is a racial statement masquerading as a scam.”
While Nike has reportedly warned its retailers to be vigilant to the scam, there are no reports that anyone had attempted to use the fake coupons. The US sportswear giant has seen a turbulent few weeks after launching the new campaign with Kaepernick at the start of September.
Some disgruntled customers burned Nike products in protest, vowing to boycott the company.
However, the company's stock price closed at an all-time high on Thursday, according to Bloomberg.