A private Christian university in Missouri said this week that its athletic teams will stop wearing apparel manufactured by Nike — after the sportswear company began rolling out a new ad campaign using former quarterback Colin Kaepernick as one of the faces of its 30th-anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
Jerry C. Davis, president of College of the Ozarks, said in a statement on Wednesday that Nike’s selection of the controversial Kaepernick was “promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America.”
Davis also said, “If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them.”
College of the Ozarks has approximately 1,400 undergraduates, as Fox News noted — and its student athletes compete in six sports: baseball, basketball, golf, cross-country, track, and volleyball.
It’s a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
In a prepared statement from the college, the school’s dean of admissions and vice president for patriotic activities, Marci Linson, also said, “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.”
Last year, College of the Ozarks changed its contracts for competition to clarify that the school’s athletes would not compete against any team that took a knee, sat, or turned its back during the national anthem, a move that was certainly inspired by the growing protests that imitated Kaepernick’s initial “stand.”
“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.”
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Taya Kyle, wife of the late Chris Kyle, has spoken out about the new Nike ad campaign featuring NFL anthem kneeler Kaepernick — and her words and the words of others have made an impact.
Fans have posted videos of themselves burning Nike products — and the company’s stock has taken a hit.
But many others have stood firmly with Nike.
The main issue most people seem to have with the ad are the words that show over Kaepernick’s face: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and the originator of the national anthem-kneeling protests, has many critics but also supporters across the country.
Here are some opinions from the public:
First Nike. Then Ford.
Major American brands now support NFL players protesting social injustice.
How long before Coke, Delta, Gap, Netflix, etc. follow this trend?
Right-wingers who want to boycott will be stuck in their houses naked, starving and bored to death.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) September 7, 2018
Nike sales are up 31% since they released their new ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. What does this say about the QB's popularity and the support for his message? @williamfleitch joins @SportsnetBen & @JDBunkis to discuss. Tune in 📻: https://t.co/VXgyFfR24Z pic.twitter.com/tVgyKHYOwB
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) September 7, 2018
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) September 7, 2018
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