Every online comedian looked at the iconic Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick and saw opportunity.
That includes one of Oregon's U.S. senators.
Countless "Just Do It" memes bloomed across the internet last week, each one parodying the grayscale photograph and white text used by Nike's Portland ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy. (The ads are both proudly capitalist and hazily political, since they feature Kaepernick, the quarterback who launched years of player protests against racial injustice by kneeling during "The Star-Spangled Banner.")
Among the satirists: U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon). On Sept. 7—the morning after Nike's campaign debuted during NFL commercials—Merkley tweeted a photo of President Donald Trump, with some inspirational text.
"Believe you won," Merkley's text said over the president's face, "even if you know Russia tipped the outcome."
We wondered: Is Merkley making memes on Capitol Hill? (It's not a crazy question. Our state's senior senator, Ron Wyden, taps out his own clap-back emojis.)
The answer? He's the writer, but lets staff do the photoshopping.
Merkley spokeswoman Sara Hottman said she was amused by the idea of her boss building web graphics.
"Alas," she said, "in real life, the construction came from the senator's digital director and the wording from Sen. Merkley."
The president, of course, can hardly complain about the mockery: He's been ridiculing Kaepernick and other protesting NFL players for more than a year in his populist rallies.