A private Christian college in Missouri said it would “choose its country over company” and remove all athletic uniforms bought from Nike or those that contain the Nike logo, KMBC reported.
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The College of the Ozarks, which is an NAIA school in Point Lookout, made the announcement in a release Wednesday. The college was responding to Nike’s 30th anniversary advertising campaign that features former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee before the national anthem during the 2016 season to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
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“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. "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."
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Nike has retained Kaepernick on its endorsement roster since signing him in 2011. He has not appeared in any of the brand's ads since 2016, KTRK reported.
"We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward," Gino Fisanotti, Nike's vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.
Kaepernick is suing the NFL for allegedly colluding to keep him out of the league, KTRK reported. An arbitrator sent Kaepernick's grievance with the NFL to trial, the television station reported.
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In October 2017, the College of the Ozarks changed its contracts for all sports, adding a stipulation that all players and coaches show respect for the American flag and national anthem. KMBC reported.