Colin Kaepernick

A Nike ad campaign featuring free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick won an Emmy award for Best Commercial.

The award was handed out at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards over the weekend.

Nike picked Kaepernick to lead its 30th anniversary 'Just Do It' TV and print campaign that also featured Serena Williams and LeBron James.

Kaepernick courted controversy in 2016 when he remained seated on the bench during the national anthem. After the public backlash, he got off the bench and kneeled on the sideline.

The 30-year-old quarterback said he was protesting social injustice. But some fans noticed he waited until he was benched to become a "woke activist".

"We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward," Nike North America vice President Gino Fisanotti told ESPN after the initial backlash.

Kaepernick, who was 3-16 during his final season with the 49ers, filed a grievance against the league for colluding to blackball him -- despite the fact that he turned down at least 2 contract offers.

Kaepernick and the league settled the lawsuit for a reported $10 million.