LeBron James Addresses Nike Colin Kaepernick Ad Controversy

Santiago Felipe/WireImage
Lebron James attends Harlem's Fashion Row at Capitale on Sept. 4, 2018 in New York City. 

"I stand with anyone who believes in change..and I stand with Nike every day, all day,” said NBA superstar LeBron James, addressing the controversial Colin Kapernaeck #JustDoIt ad that dropped Monday with the slogan, "Believe in something, even if means sacrificing everything."

James took time out from training for his Oct. 18 L.A. Lakers debut to accept the Icon360 award from Harlem’s Fashion Row on Tuesday night in New York City, and he made clear that he stands with his lifetime sponsor’s stand with the NFL player-turned activist, who protested African-American inequality by taking a knee during the pre-game national anthem, and created a cultural movement.    

The Nike-supported fashion event, now in its 11th year, was founded by Brandice Daniel to create solutions to bringing more black designers into the fashion industry. As usual, James the philanthropist, who recently opened the free ‘I Promise School’ in his hometown Akron, Ohio, put actions behind his words.

James, dressed in his signature summer shorts suit, reflected on the importance of powerful women in his life, including his mother, his wife and his daughter Zhuri James, whom he held in his arms: “This award is far too kind, what I stand for and what I do comes straight from my heart.”

Then, he unveiled his first ever basketball sneaker made for women, the #Strongest LeBron x HFR Nike 16, which was designed with input from the event’s three showcased fashion designers Kimberly Goldson, Undra Celest NY and Fe Noel. The high-top has a distinct leather ankle strap that looks as if it could double as a bracelet.


Stylist Jason Rembert, who has worked with Issa Rae, among others, was presented with the HFR Stylist of the Year Award, while the Iconic Trailblazer Award was given to fashion activist Bethann Hardison, who for 40 years has been working on diversifying the modeling industry, but announced she would now turn her focus to helping African-American designers, too.

Harlem fashion icon Dapper Dan received the HFR Lifetime Maverick Award for pioneering luxury streetwear, and bringing it to a new audience with his recent partnership with Gucci.

This article originally appeared in THR.com.