Bay Area Army veteran who encouraged Kaepernick to take a knee addresses new Nike ad

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Nike's new Colin Kaepernick ad has made it's way to San Francisco's Union Square. DroneView 7 recorded video of the billboard, perched on top the Nike store building, and visible to everyone in the busy shopping district.

The controversy over Kaepernick started in 2016, when as a 49'er, he sat and then kneeled during the national anthem to protest social injustice. East Bay Native, Nate Boyer, was part of that decision, reaching a compromise with Kaepernick, when they agreed to meet in San Diego before a pre-season game against the Chargers. "I wanted him to stand, he wanted to sit, but we kind of agreed on kneeling," said Boyer.

VIDEO: Kaepernick billboard hangs high above SF's Nike store
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Former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick is dominating conversation across the U.S. as well as the San Francisco skyline. Here's a look at the billboard above Nike's flagship in Union Square.

Boyer, who spoke to ABC7 over the phone from Los Angeles, is a former NFL player and Army Special Forces Veteran.

As a Green Beret, he served multiple tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Boyer explained that kneeling still felt respectful, "We take a knee to pray and propose to our wives. when people get knighted they take a knee, never really in history has kneeling been viewed as disrespectful."

As for the message on the new ad, which says, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything," Boyer says the message is controversial, especially for those who may have sacrificed more than a football career. "The ultimate sacrifice that we talk about often, with respect to people who have lost their lives fighting for the very things that the flag and the anthem are supposed to represent."

TIMELINE: Looking back at Colin Kaepernick's transformation from football star to social justice advocate
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Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels before the start of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Dec. 18, 2016 in Atlanta.

As for Nike, their stock took a hit Tuesday, dropping more than three percent. But, other Nike athletes, like Lebron James and Serena Williams, disagreed with the market. Williams tweeted "especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today. #Just do it."

Always a fierce critic of the anthem protests, the President, told The Daily Caller Tuesday, that he thinks the ad is "a terrible message," but, he added Nike's freedom to make that decision is "what this country is all about."

The NFL responded to Kaepernick's Nike deal today, saying "The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action."

Get the latest on former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick here.

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