Actress Jenifer Lewis walked the Emmys red carpet early Monday evening in an unexpected outfit: custom head-to-toe Nike. Lewis, who plays an outspoken, pro-Black grandmother on ABC's black-ish, got the idea when she was swimming a few days ago. "I was like, what can I do that's meaningful," she told Variety, who referred to her as "Sporty Spice." "I'll wear Nike to say thank you," she continued. "Thank you for leading the resistance."
"I am wearing Nike to applaud them for supporting Colin Kaepernick and his protest against racial and police brutality," Lewis said, referring to the former quarterback's "Just Do It" anniversary campaign with Nike. While the advertisement sparked outrage on social media, the brand's profits have increased a staggering 31% since its release.
The actress also had a few words of encouragement for Kaepernick that she shared with Variety. But mostly, she just wanted to thank him. "Thank you for all that you do," she said on the red carpet. "Thank you for being brave. Thank you for being courageous. Thank you for taking a knee. Thank you."
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," Kaepernick said in 2016 when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
"We need more of corporate America to stand up also," Lewis told Variety. "These are not dark times, these are awakening times. And we all have to wake up." According to her, she enlisted the help of a few drag queens to complete the look. "I had some drag queens come over and put some beads on it, some sparkle...you know how they roll."