Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign has cost it its first institutional contract.
The College of the Ozarks said it would “choose its country over company” by terminating its Nike sponsorship deal and removing all Nike-branded athletic equipment or uniforms, according to a report by Kansas City ABC affiliate KMBC.
The school, a private Christian college, said it was canceling the contract over Nike featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
Mr. Kaepernick led the national-anthem protests at NFL games and has said he would not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He also has worn socks depicting police officers as pigs.
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” college President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement. “If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them.”
The college was also irked by the slogan “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
“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,” Mr. Davis said.
The Point Lookout, Missouri, college has taken this stance on issues of patriotism before.
Last fall, it added a stipulation to its contracts for competition in all sports, requiring that all participating players and coaches display reverence toward “The Star-Spangled banner” and the U.S. flag.
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