Point Lookout, MO – A Christian college said it was dropping its affiliation with Nike after the sports apparel company announced its new ad with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Nike campaign features Kaepernick with the slogan, “Believe in something. Even it means sacrificing everything.”
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” said College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis, according to KYC-TV.
“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,” he added.
KLRT-TV reported that the college will remove all the athletic uniforms purchased from Nike or that contain the Nike emblem due to the Nike ad.
Marci Linson, the College of the Ozarks vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, said Nike was free to do whatever campaign it wanted.
However, Linson said the College of the Ozarks was “honor-bound by its mission and goals, to ensure that it respects our country and those who truly served and sacrificed,” according to KYC.
The College of the Ozarks has made news in the past over the national anthem protest movement that Kaepernick started in 2016.
In 2017, the College of Ozarks had revised its contracts involving all of its sports teams stating that all participating players and coaches show respect for the American flag and the national anthem.
It stated that it would walk away from any game where the opposing team takes a knee, sits or turns it back on the American flag or the national anthem, according to the Springfield News-Leader.
The College of the Ozarks asked the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to enforce its mandate of no protesting of the flag or anthem.
When the NAIA refused, the College of the Ozarks told NAIA officials to relocate the NAIA 2018 tournament from the College of Ozarks where it had been held for 18 years to a new site, according to the Springfield News-Leader.
The College of the Ozarks is a Christian college that doesn’t charge tuition. Instead, its students work 15 hours per week to cover a portion of their tuition, according to the college.