Niche College Scholarship Blog


Colleges Drop Nike over Controversial Kaepernick Ad

Colleges Drop Nike over Controversial Kaepernick Ad
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Nike gear will not be worn by athletes at The College of the Ozarks following the company's latest ads featuring Colin Kaepernick, claiming it would "choose its country over company." According to the college president, "in their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America."

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" ad, Nike prominently features former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The ad is accompanied by the slogan "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything" - referencing his kneeling during the national anthem before NFL football games in protest of police brutality against black people. The president of The College of the Ozarks believes that "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."

Other universities and colleges have also cut ties with Nike, such as Truett McConnell University, which states they will no longer purchase or carry athletic apparel by Nike, "an athletic company that uses someone to market their products who mocks our troops." TMU will reconsider the Nike brand if "Nike chooses to apologize to our troops and to our law enforcement officers..."

Liberty University has not yet pulled the plug on its partnership with Nike; instead, it will be decided after a conversation about contract termination clauses and what Nike is trying to accomplish through the Kaepernick campaign. "If the company really has animus toward police officers, or if they're intentionally disrespecting our flag, our veterans, our national anthem, as part of some mission of the company and using their resources to do it, then why deal with them when there are plenty of other good athletic companies out there," said university president Jerry Falwell Jr.

Do you or do you not support the decision of college and universities severing ties with Nike over the new ad campaign? Why or why not?

Comments (27)
Jacob M 10/13/2018
I get what Colin Kaepernick is standing up for. The black people in America still face racial violence every where. I've been doing studies and reading about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What he did was break barriers. When he protested during the civil rights movement he never made fun or mocked the people who protect and serve our great country. What he did is down right disrespectful he and several other NFL players kneeled for the NATIONAL ANTHEM. I am ok with what he is protesting for just don't do it during the NATIONAL ANTHEM the song that we hear at every ball park in America before we play sports weather it's in the majors or college or high school or even at your little kids pee wee soccer match. We should ALWAYS BE RESPECTFUL TO THOSE WHO HAVE GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR OURS. I seems in America we have forgotten teach our kids to respect our elders our troops one another and one of the most important those who are out there risking their live for our freedom every single day.
Rosanne A 9/26/2018
i cannot believe that in 2018 colleges (by dropping) nike are saying to students not to stand up for what they believe in.These colleges are just a part of the bureaucracy only out to get as much money as they can.This is the USA and we all have the right to protest and just because someone (trump) says your disrespecting the flag and the troops don't make it so. Capernick had and has the same rights as anyone in this country to protest what he feels is injustice. You don't have to agree ( That is your right) but to pull your sponsorship from nike and say it is because there's supporting somone who is disrespecting the flag and troops is pure hog wash. When did you (The Colleges) get to decide what his or anyone's protest is about. DONT LET THEM TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHTS. Stand up for something or you will fall for anything
Bill S. 9/25/2018
As if I needed another reason to keep my kids away from pablum sucking "universities" like Liberty, College of the Rednecks, and Truett McConnell (what?...never heard of it).
Lily B 9/20/2018
For those of you crying "Freedom of Speech" over what Kaepernick did, you would be incorrect. Quite literally and technically, it is called "Freedom of Expression." Mr. Kaepernick did not protest using speech. His protest was silent.
Danae M. 9/20/2018
Totally missing the point. I STAND with Nike!
Shonni T. 9/19/2018
It’s AMAZING how University Leaders, EDUCATORS if you will have TOTALLY MISSED the message. It was and still is NOT about disrespect towards troops, veterans etc. This is a raising of AWARENESS of the blatant racism and brutality against minority’s in this country. It’s also about ASKING for change. And “COLLEGE” that chooses to drop Nike behind this is OBVIOUSLY ok with the racism and brutality towards minority’s in America. I can only hope that the minority’s on their teams will choose to STAND for something even if it means sacrificing their current status within these “Universities” PERIOD
liz I. 9/18/2018
right, because police brutality is more american than kneeling
Teashia N Gilmore 9/17/2018
I stand with Nike. Because Nike is usuing there Freedom is Speech right. I feel most companies and brands are scared to use freedom of speech. But, Nike as a company has spoke up and and many of times they stood up for Serena Williams when they wanted to band her compress catsuits and they now stand behind Kaepernick because he used his freedom of speech and decided to risk it all because he spoke out. I am glad that I did not attend a college that was closed mined.
Trinity G. 9/17/2018
At the end of the day, it is Nike's right as a company to use the media to advertise and if they choose to advertise with a political message, it is their right. Do I think that taking a knee is respectful? No. The American flag stands for more than white people. I don't think the American flag necessarily stands for the military or the police force either, however. The American flag stands for AMERICA. That's it. That means Colin Kaepernick is basically taking a knee to himself. He is an American. He is blessed to be an American. No matter how bad you think it is, it is always worse in other countries. And, no matter how the biased media spins it, the US, no matter whether you believe in racism aimed towards blacks or whites, is the least racist country in the world. We were built on the idea of being a "melting pot". Petty terms like "race" should be left behind because we forget that the color of our skin is not our race. We are part of the human race.
Greatness Awaits 9/16/2018
These colleges and like HALF OF AMERICA are mussibg the message behind this. America is already divided and this ad is trying to show that. Stand up for what you believe in. Do you really think this guy would INTENTIONALLY try to lose his job? The advertisement was beautiful and inspiring and reflected that no matter what race, religion, disability, you can and should work hard towards your goals no matter what people think. I can’t believe I live in a country where you can lose your job over saying “racism is wrong”. What is so upsetting over seeing people kneel before a football game? People LOVE to complain about EVERYTHING. Protesting, an American right is now unamerican? A peaceful silence protest. Don’t catch ne watching the Super Bowl this year. Ima be watching the puppy bowl, in my brand new Nike sneakers.
LC 9/16/2018
It is a sad day to have it made blatantly clear that the leadership of certain universities are unable to grasp a message that is not unpatriotic. Having met Mr. Kaepernick on a few occasions I can without a doubt say he nothing but caring and respectful. Open your ears people and listen to the real message.
Christian S. 9/16/2018
So essentially a bunch of no name colleges and universities are attempting to gain notoriety by pretending to be outraged
Nancy L. 9/16/2018
I think it is ridiculous that a college would drop Nike based on an advertisement. This is the United States of America, and the right to free speech is paramount. Knelling for the National Anthem is a form of protest, not against police, but to bring awareness to a nationwide crisis of a disproportionate number of blacks having to deal with unfair brutality. I have to commend the protestors because they got their point across. I am disappointed in the people who have decided to disagree with this statistical fact, and instead are making it about respect for our military. If you ask any player who took a knee, they would without a moment of hesitation tell you that they support our military. Let’s stick to the facts and focus on what will make our country great, instead of getting petty because one man had the courage to knell and make everybody think for a change.
Mike B. 9/16/2018
For the people who disagree with Nike, it is obvious that you have no clue what it is like to be black in your own country. The protest is about the unjustified killing of blacks. That's it. You life your life in such a way that you don't see or hear about it therefore you don't care. He could protest in a different manner but you wouldn't know about it. So he chose the only medium that your life intersects with his. The protest was very short and not vocal. You claim your love for the military, yet this situation that he is protesting could easily happen to a black servicemen while walking around. Would you care then, I doubt it.
Pam K 9/16/2018
Good for them!! Choosing your country over a company!! I STAND with the colleges!
Gaieth E. 9/16/2018
Racism? People are racist now against black people because they are black? Or maybe because the "white supremacist" actually don't want to get killed from someone who has a gun? Black peoples kill more black peoples and it's a fact. White people kill MORE white oriole than black people. The democrats are conveying racism because they think America is MORE racist but don't see that only a small fraction are. If you don't want to die from any skin-colored officer, just don't commit freakin crime!! It's that simple!! Police officers ain't gonna arrest you or attack you for walking down the street, and that's a fact!! You people need to move with the facts not the feelings!! Freedom of speech for black lives matter? All lives matter. So many white dudes, Even Eminem, were bullied simply because they were white in a black neighborhood, and black people are racist to them too, why don't they get coverage? You tell me this is wrong somehow please!! Search Ben Shapiro on YouTube so your eyes are open again
Navy Cryptological Technician Veteran 9/15/2018
The military, this country, and especially law enforcement are absolute trash. Unless you have held a top secret clearance and know what this country really does, stop supporting it. I applaud Colin Kaepernick. Stop being sheep and stop respecting authority.
Romie B 9/15/2018
All very conservative, Trump supporting or endorsing colleges. None of them had a salient response among them. It all sounded like the current administration propaganda. And who is still listening to Jerry Falwell? This is NOT about those serving in the military or our troops it is about the RIGHT to freedom of speech that the ultra right wants for themselves but does NOT want for anyone who does not think just like them. This is about discrimination. Colin does not take a knee against the troops, he takes a knee against the war on black men specifically. When did this become about the troops? Anyone who uses those excuses and reasoning needs to watch another news network other than Fox like BBC, Al Jazeera or MSNBC. Three news networks that deliver the news NOT people's opinions and interpretations of the news filtered through their bias and discrimination. And an uneducated view at that.
An n S. 9/15/2018
This country touts "freedom of speech", taking the knee is a form of speech unless you are black man or a person of color! What this country is experiencing now is the result of having a black man serve as president for 8 years so, it isn't surprising extreme "right colleges" are disrespecting Colin's right to express himself. Let's face it lynchings are a thing of the past, we now have the police force to do this dirty work for us! If you are a black man, it's shoot first, ask questions to a corpse later...?! FYI am white. Go Nike!!!!!
Annie c 9/13/2018
Laura B you are a fool. Do some research into why he kneels. Live a day in the life of a black Man. His decision has nothing to do with disrespect for the military and 99.9% of Americans couldn’t care less what people at Ozark U are doing.
Alexander T 9/13/2018
As a D1 college athlete, I am sure glad we are sponsored by Adidas. Nike is certainly sending the wrong message to our inner city youth, supporting the mentality of victimhood over personal responsibility. What a shame, a once great brand is now completely dead to me.
Patricia 9/13/2018
Even on the collegiate level there is misunderstanding of the entire plight of the TRUE MESSAGE that is being conveyed. This clearly demonstrates the depths of racism in our lPatricia and and the extreme denial of the FACTS. Stay WOKE.
geez whiz 9/12/2018
yeah they should have put a stop to it, they should have been reprimanded, they are hired employees, i think the whole thing is ridiculous, the field where people are being paid to do a job is not the place to protest, they are paid to perform as part of a team. stand and show respect for our flag, our country and those who serve( and don't make near enough in wages for their sacrifice) i dont care what people say about it not being disrespectful, when the national anthem is played you should reverence it to show your pride for this great country and if you dont want to do that, then you need to leave, there are injustices that happen all day everyday to every race, so drop the race card, everybody. do the right thing, respect authority and get on with helping others get through this life. bitterness and anger helps nothing.
Allegra C 9/12/2018
People who still believe that Colin Kaepernick is disrespecting the military shouldn't even be on this website, because they clearly cannot read what the man himself has said about why he knelt. (They also haven't bothered to find out that it was a veteran who suggested to CK that he kneel, rather than sit on the bench, because kneeling was the respectful thing to do.) They SURELY shouldn't be running colleges or universities. But the only colleges named in this article are backwoods and so-called "Christian" colleges, so no surprise there. You get what you pay for in those places. They clearly don't believe in freedom of speech--at least for black men.
Cassie P 9/12/2018
It is sad that people still don't get it. If they wanted the protest to have stopped when it started, then action should have been taken to fix our racist judicial system. Instead of making it about disrespect to the military~which it is not~that energy should have been used to fire police and judges who treat people of color differently. Kaepernick is not making millions throwing a ball around. He is not employed by any team so it is impossible for him to make millions. He is not employed because he chose to bring attention to an issue that should have been corrected decades ago. I personally don't purchase Nike but not because of the advertisement but because of their use of child labor and sweatshops in other countries since 1970. That should have bothered everyone who bought Nike for their student-athletes long before Kaepernick lost his source of income due to his concern for fellow people of color by using the most visible source he possessed.
Melinda T 9/12/2018
It is their choice to make such a decision, but I think they are making the wrong decision. The protest is about making better efforts to live up to our ideals - it is not disrespectful to our military, if anything it respects the sacrifice they make to allow us to maintain our freedom. If it is disrespectful to law enforcement, that is only because the LEO community is an policing itself, and holding individuals within their ranks accountable for their actions.
Laura B 9/11/2018
I applaud The College of the Ozarksplaud's decision to drop Nike. What a total disrespect of all of our military and law enforcement! Those brave men and women chose a life of service to ALL. They put their own life on the line to keep America safe for little pay while Kaepernick makes his millions throwing a ball around. My track athlete son always wore Nike sneakers, but no more until Nike pulls this ad and apologizes for its poor decision!
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