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Tiger Woods calls Colin Kaepernick's Nike ad 'a beautiful spot'

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- Tiger Woods responded favorably to Nike's ad featuring Colin Kaepernick that made its television debut during Thursday night's season-opening NFL game, saying, "It's a beautiful spot."

Woods is a longtime Nike endorser who started with the company on the day he turned pro in 1996.

"I think Nike is trying to get out ahead of it and trying to do something special, and I think they've done that," Woods said Friday at the BMW Championship. "It's a beautiful spot and pretty powerful people in the spot."

Kaepernick was announced Monday as one of the faces of a new Nike campaign meant to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the brand's iconic "Just Do It" motto. The ad was first published on social channels Monday, but got its first network airing during the Thursday night game.

Market tracking brand Edison Trends said its data shows that Nike's online sales grew 31 percent from the Sunday of Labor Day weekend through Tuesday, as compared with a 17 percent gain over an average day recorded for the same period of 2017.

Nike doesn't release sales numbers, so Edison pulled real purchasing data from a panel of 3 million users to identify the upward trend.

The ad is narrated by Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who has been out of the league the past two seasons in the aftermath of his protests.

The spot touches on the controversy of NFL players protesting racial inequality, police brutality and other issues by demonstrating during the playing of the national anthem.

Woods said he was not made aware that the ad was coming out before it was announced earlier this week.

Woods has remained with Nike throughout his professional career, helping it bring golf clubs and balls to the market in the late 1990s and continuing as an endorser of apparel and the brand after Nike left the hard-goods business two years ago.

Two weeks ago, Woods was asked about his relationship with President Donald Trump, who has spoken out against the NFL and the protests. Woods, who has played golf with Trump (as well as three other presidents) tried to avoid controversy by saying it was important to "respect the office."

Information from ESPN's Darren Rovell was used in this report.