A Missouri college has dropped Nike gear from their athletic teams over the company’s decision to use Colin Kaepernick in their new advertising campaign.
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement explaining their decision to remove all Nike athletic uniforms and gear. “If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them. We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform.”
Nike’s ad includes a close-up of the former NFL player with the tagline, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said during a press conference after he first sat out during the anthem. “To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
(The free agent apparently had no problem sporting a t-shirt with Fidel Castro on it, however—a man who “jailed and tortured the most black political prisoners in the modern history of the Western hemisphere,” as Townhall columnist Humberto Fontova explains.)
“Nike is free to campaign as it sees fit, as the College is free, and honor-bound by its mission and goals, to ensure that it respects our country and those who truly served and sacrificed,” said Marci Linson, the college’s vice president of patriotic activities and dean of admissions.
College of the Ozarks, a private, Christian, liberal arts school, made a point of showing their patriotism last year when they revised their sports contracts to add a stipulation that respect for the American flag and national anthem must be shown by all players and coaches.
Not only did shares in Nike fall this week after it announced its new campaign with Kaepernick, favorability of the company also dropped by double digits and there was no boost among key demographics.
As Trump said on Twitter Friday, “What was Nike thinking?”