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?

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