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

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants earn a 3-1 victory over Everett in season-opener in Langley

Langley’s major junior hockey team opened the season at home with a victory over the Silvertips.

White Rock rail forum leads to renewed calls for relocation

Upgrading safety is not enough say local politicians

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

White Rock’s Johnston Road to re-open on schedule: city

One lane in each direction expected to open by Friday at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read