Honorees Jason Rembert, left, and Dapper Dan attend a fashion show and awards ceremony held by the Harlem Fashion Row collective and Nike before the start of New York Fashion Week, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

LeBron says in Kaepernick reference: I stand with Nike

LeBron James said he stands with Nike

Clutching his young daughter in his arms, LeBron James said he stands with Nike, a clear reference to the company’s Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.

The basketball superstar — and new Los Angeles Laker — made the remarks as he received an award Tuesday for both his style and his philanthropy from Harlem’s Fashion Row. The fashion collective partnered with Nike for the New York event, both a fashion show and an awards ceremony that focused on diversity in the fashion world. The evening culminated in the reveal of the latest LeBron James Nike basketball shoe: a women’s sneaker designed by three female African-American designers and inspired by strong African-American women.

In emotional remarks, James paid tribute to the three women in his life — his mother, wife and 3-year-old daughter, Zhuri.

He noted how his mother had raised him alone, and given him “a sense of pride, a sense of strength, a sense of no worry.”

“Because of you, Gloria James, I’m able to be in a position today where I can give back and showcase why I believe African-American women are the most powerful women in the world.”

The NBA star, who was wearing one of his favoured shrunken-fit shorts suits by designer Thom Browne, called his daughter “my rock.”

“People always told me if you ever have a girl, she’ll change you,” said James, who also has two sons. “I was like, nobody’s changing me, I’m a man.” But she did, he said.

RELATED: Colin Kaepernick’s Nike deal prompts #justburnit reaction on social media

“Not only did she change me, she’s made me a better person,” James said. “A more dedicated person, a stronger person, I guess a more sensitive person.”

Closing his remarks, he said he stood “for anybody who believes in change.” He added: “I stand with Nike, all day, every day.”

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, unveiled his first ad of the new campaign Monday. “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” it said.

The new endorsement deal has sparked vigorous debate, with some fans expressing displeasure over the apparel giant’s support of a player known for starting a wave of protests among NFL players against police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues.

Some angry fans were even burning and cutting out the signature swoosh logos on their gear — and posting the results on social media.

But Kaepernick and his Nike campaign, which marks the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It,” received plenty of support from the fashion world in attendance Tuesday.

Bethann Hardison, an activist for diversity in fashion and a former supermodel who was also honoured by Harlem’s Row, said she was happy with Nike’s move. “It’s such a divided situation in our world right now,” she said of the negative reaction by some fans. “But I’m such a huge, huge, wholehearted supporter of Colin that I’m very proud that someone understands what he’s done and (is giving) him some kudos.”

Prominent African-American designer Tracy Reese said she loved the new Nike campaign.

“It was tastefully done,” she said. “And really, this is the time to stand up for what you believe in. Colin Kaepernick has done that and I think that we need to follow his example and really go where the heart leads, instead of where everybody expects you to go.”

Also honoured at the ceremony were Harlem streetwear designer Dapper Dan and stylist Jason Rembert. A fashion show highlighted the work of designers Kimberly Goldson, Undra Duncan and Fe Noel, who together helped create the new shoe.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Come see Stettler’s Diary of Anne Frank and learn important “lessons from the past”

The Diary of Anne Frank from Feb. 21 to 23 at the Performing Arts Centre

Stettler’s Scotties tournament set a new standard

Chair of curling tournament committee says rural Alberta can host biggest events

Come out to a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day dance in Botha

Don’t miss the big green bash in Botha Feb. 24

Tickets still available for Stettler County Community Service Awards

42nd annual community service awards at Linda Hall Feb. 21

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Boxers claim two silver medals for Alberta in wild night

Cole Brander of Edmonton fought for the gold medal against Avery Martin-Duval of Quebec

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Most Read