Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick famously took a knee during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Now, Kaepernick is the new face of a Nike advertising campaign, and football fans across the country are riled up. Colorado Springs is no exception.
The owner of Prime Time Sports in the Chapel Hills Mall announced Wednesday morning that he is discontinuing the sale of Nike apparel and marking it down to 50 percent off the original price.
The new Nike advertisement features an up-close picture of Kaepernick with the quote “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Prime Time Sports owner Stephen Martin does not stand with Nike and disagrees with the ad. Martin put up a sign on the front of his store reading “STILL CHOOSING TO STAND. ALL NIKE 1/2 OFF. ‘JUST DOING IT.'”
“I do not support it,” he said. “I do not want to write any more checks to Nike. I’m done with them entirely.”
Martin, a son of a veteran, said Kaepernick doesn’t know what it means to “sacrifice everything” as said in the advertisement.
“I don’t think he knows what it’s like,” Martin said.
He admits Nike is a huge part of his business, but he doesn’t care.
“Probably won’t be able to keep the doors open,” Martin said. “I really doubt that I can survive without Nike.”
Martin feels like, as a Nike dealer, he was lumped into believing in what Kaepernick is doing by kneeling for the national anthem.
“It puts me with them, and that’s what I don’t want to be a part of anymore,” he said.
Many in Colorado Springs are now taking advantage of the Nike apparel sale.
“Definitely taking advantage of the sale right now,” Jason Krautbauer said.
Many, also, are siding with Kaepernick.
“The only thing Colin Kaepernick is really doing is bringing about awareness,” Brandon Westbrook said.
“To me he’s a hero, you know, in my eyes, because it takes a lot of guts to stand up for what you really believe in,” Easton Dean said.
Martin said 50 to 60 percent of his sales and product in his store is Nike, but he doesn’t care how it affects his business.
“I wish I was wealthy enough to burn all the Nike stuff, but I’m not. I’ve got over $100,000 on the wholesale level somewhere in all of this store and the two warehouses, and I just don’t have the wealth to do that. So, not profiting on it is the best that I can do,” Martin said.
Martin said if Nike pulled Kaepernick from the advertisements he would likely go back to business as normal, but for now all Nike apparel is half off until it’s gone.