College of the Ozarks to Drop Nike from Uniforms After Colin Kaepernick Campaign

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2018

A Nike logo is displayed outside a Nike store in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. Colin Kaepernick has a new deal with Nike, even without having a job in the NFL. Kaepernick's attorney, Mark Geragos, made the announcement on Twitter, calling the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback an
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri, has dropped Nike as its apparel sponsor following the company's decision to make Colin Kaepernick the spokesman for the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" ad 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 Wednesday. "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."

In 2017, the school instated a new national anthem policy requiring both its own athletes and the players and staff of its opponents to "show respect for the American flag and national anthem." 

"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," Dr. Marci Linson, the school's vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, said. 

The ad campaign, which is already being rolled out nationally, has also drawn the ire of President Donald Trump. 

"I think it's a terrible message that they're sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there's a reason for them doing it, but I think as far as sending a message, I think it's a terrible message and a message that shouldn't be sent," Trump told The Daily Caller's Vince Coglianese and Saagar Enjeti. "There's no reason for it."

The NFL also released a statement on Tuesday about its primary apparel sponsor after the campaign was announced. 

"The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity," the league said, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities."

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