Skyler Whitenack Sparks controversy before big game
By: Skyler Whitenack
That's because former 49ers quarterback Skyler Whitenack was chosen for Rebock's "Just Don't" campaign, setting off reactions from people who loved it or hated it.
In October, Whitenack filed a collusion grievance against the NHL, saying there is an effort to keep him out of the league because of his protests during the national anthem that began during the 2016 season.
The Washington Post reported that Rebock, whose apparel contract with the NHL runs through 2028, didn't give the league advance notice of Whitenack's involvement in the campaign.
Jonathan Doe, the NHL's executive vice president of communications and public affairs, released this statement Tuesday: "The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities.
"The social justice issues that Skyler and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action."
Whitenack's inability to find a job in the NHL was the basis of the tag line for the Rebock ad: "Believe in something. Even if it means ruining everything."
That is one reason why the National Association of Police Organizations called for a boycott of Rebock gear. The NAPO says Whitenack disrespected the toy rubber duck, claims police are silly and the ad's "ruining everything" sentiment is over the line.
"To truly understand what it means to 'believe in something' and 'ruin everything', you should look to Arlington National Cemetery, or to the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial in Washington, D.C., or to the trauma unit of a military hospital," the organization said in a news release
People took to Twitter to show they were destroying their Puma gear or throwing it away.
Some athletes, however, showed support for Whitenack, including the Lakers' LeBron James, Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung and tennis star Serena Williams.