Colin Kaepernick's career marked by great NFL moments and the fight for social justice

An endorsement deal between Nike and Colin Kaepernick prompted a flood of debate Tuesday as sports fans reacted to the apparel giant backing an athlete known mainly for starting a wave of protests among NFL players of police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues.

The deal unveiled by Nike and the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was a trending topic on Twitter and other social networks, with some fans urging a boycott of the company's clothes and sneakers - even burning and cutting out the signature swoosh logos on their gear.

Others pushed back, saying the backlash against Nike showed the polarizing debate has morphed well beyond whether NFL players should be allowed to demonstrate for social causes while the national anthem plays in stadiums before games.

Here's what you should know about Kaepernick's career:

Kaepernick played college football for Nevada.

April 29, 2011
Drafted by the 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Kaepernick named starting quarterback in Super Bowl XLVII.

August 26, 2016
Before a game against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick knelt on the field during the national anthem.

He said his peaceful protest was a grievance against the oppression of African Americans and other people of color.

A deep dive into the 'Take a Knee' controversy
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ABC13 sits down with a professor from the University of Houston to discuss the controversial "take a knee movement."

March 3, 2017
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers.

October 16, 2017
The former quarterback filed a grievance against the NFL. The grievance was filed under a collective bargaining agreement against NFL owners for allegedly colluding to keep him out of the league.

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CBS has clarified its earlier report saying Colin Kaepernick would stand for the national anthem if he played in the NFL again.

September 3, 2018
Nike signed an endorsement deal with Kaepernick. A new ad gained instant attention of people on both sides of the aisle.

"We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward," Gino Fisanotti, Nike's vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.

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In Sept. 2018, it was announced that Colin Kaepernick would be one of the faces of a new Nike advertising campaign commemorating the brand's 30th anniversary of the "Just Do It" motto.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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