When tennis star Serena Williams hailed football players Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid at the U.S. Open on Friday, the audience had no idea that Williams's sponsor, Nike, was about to unveil a major marketing surprise.
Today, Kaepernick revealed over Twitter that he's the new face of Nike's 30th "Just Do It" ad.
The 30-year-old star quarterback was the first to protest police brutality against African Americans by going on one knee during the U.S. national anthem at football games.
Reid, his former teammate, joined him in the protest by also "taking a knee". That drew the wrath of U.S. president Donald Trump, who claimed that they were disrespecting the American flag.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following the 2016 season. Earlier in his career, he led the team to two AFC championships and reached the Super Bowl.
He's since filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that team owners colluded against signing him as a free agent.
In the process, he's become a folk hero to liberal America and to those who oppose Donald Trump around the world.
Reid is also still without a contract.
At the U.S. Open, Williams declared that Kaepernick and Reid "have great respect from a lot of their peers, especially other athletes—people that really are looking for social change".
Nike's move has been applauded over Twitter by some American athletes, including Williams.
Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, who's running against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, has defended those who take a knee before the national anthem. To find out why, watch the clip below.