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Grace Abels
By Grace Abels June 24, 2024

No, Caitlin Clark did not turn down millions of dollars from Nike. Claim is satire

If Your Time is short

  • This claim originated on a satire site. 

  • In April, it was widely reported that Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark was expected to enter a lucrative contract with Nike. 

Four hundred million dollars would be hard to turn down. Is that what basketball star Caitlin Clark passed on over an issue with a football star?

"BREAKING: Caitlin Clark Rejects $400 Million Deal From Nike, 'Not With That Kaepernick Clown,’' read a June 21 Facebook post. It included an image of Clark and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 

(Screenshot of Facebook post)

The Facebook post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook, Threads and Instagram.)

Social media users were directed to get the "full story" at a link in the Facebook post’s comments;  the story claims Clark rejected a "lucrative" endorsement and called Kaepernick a "clown."

But this claim originated as satire.

The story appears to have started on and its affiliated website — the same network of satire websites that gave rise to two stories we rated False about the Kansas City Chiefs refusing to participate in Pride Month and the Pittsburgh Steelers coach calling the celebrations "woke crap." 

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Most of the satire stories currently featured on both websites combine controversial political topics with figures from pop culture, such as athletes, chefs or actors. 

When the Clark story was initially shared June 18 on Facebook, the image had a "Rated Satire" watermark on the left side, and the linked story has a satire disclaimer. But as the image was reshared and the story reposted, the watermark and disclaimers were removed. 

(Screenshot of Facebook posts) 

In April, it was widely reported that Clark was nearing an eight-year endorsement deal with Nike worth more than $20 million. PolitiFact could not independently confirm the final details of Clark’s Nike contract, but her website features Nike and other partnerships, and Clark wore rare Nike x Tiffany & Co. shoes for her WNBA debut. 

We found no credible reporting that said Clark had turned down the Nike deal, or that she has any issues with Kaepernick, who made headlines in 2017 for kneeling during the national anthem before National Football League games in protest of police violence against Black Americans. Although he no longer plays in the National Football League, he has had a continued partnership with Nike, with his most recent collaboration released in October 2023.

We rate the claim that Clark rejected a $400 million deal from Nike, and called Kaepernick a clown, False.

Our Sources

Facebook post (archived), June 21, 2024

News, "Caitlin Clark Rejects $400 Million Deal From Nike, ‘Not With That Kaepernick, (archived), June 21, 2024

SpaceXMania, "Breaking: Caitlin Clark Turns Down Massive Nike Endorsement Worth $400 Million, "Never In A Million Years With That Kaepernick Clown" (archived), June 19, 2024

Facebook post (archived), June 18, 2024

Esspots (archived) June 18, 2024 

SpaceXMania, "About Us," (archived), accessed June 24, 2024

Esspots, "About Us," (archived), accessed June 24, 2024

Associated Press, "Caitlin Clark is set to sign a new Nike deal valued at $28 million over 8 years, reports say," April 23, 2024

WeekTimesUS, "Breaking: Caitlin Clark Turns Down Massive Nike Endorsement Worth $400 Million, "Never In A Million Years With That Kaepernick Clown" (archived), June 23, 2024

PolitiFact, "Kansas City Chiefs didn’t issue statement about not participating in Pride Month," June 8, 2024 

PolitiFact, "No, Steelers coach did not call Pride Month ‘woke crap.’ That claim started as satire," June 14, 2024

CBS Sports, "Caitlin Clark reportedly signing a $28 million endorsement deal with Nike, includes signature shoe," April 25, 2024

The Athletic, "Caitlin Clark nearing endorsement deal with Nike: Sources," April 17, 2024
Caitlin Clark, "Homepage," accessed June 24, 2024

GQ, "Caitlin Clark Made Her WNBA Debut in Absurdly Rare Nikes," May 16, 2024

The New York Times, "Kneeling, Fiercely Debated in the NFL, Resonates in Protests," June 5, 2020

Snopes, "Did Nike End $20M Partnership with Colin Kaepernick?," Nov. 7, 2023

PolitiFact, "No, Colin Kaepernick hasn’t lost his Nike deal," Sept. 5, 2018

The New Yorker, "Behind Nike’s Decision to Stand by Colin Kaepernick," Sept. 4, 2018

X post, Oct. 27, 2023

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No, Caitlin Clark did not turn down millions of dollars from Nike. Claim is satire

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