One Missouri college is making sure everyone knows how they feel about Nike's endorsement of the anthem-protesting former quarterback Colin-Kaepernick: "If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them."
Nike certainly knew it was going to suffer some blowback for its decision to give the polarizing ex-QB a "star" deal and make him the face of its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign — after all, recent polling shows that a majority of voters find his protest of the American flag distasteful. But with Twitter getting literally lit up with video of people burning their Nike gear, "Just Do It"-mocking memes trending online, and Trump having a blast watching it all from afar, you start to wonder if this is what Nike had in mind.
One of the stronger responses yet to Nike's new Kaepernick deal is taking place on the campus of the College of the Ozarks, a private Christian school in Point Lookout, Missouri, with what appears to be an emphatically patriotic administration. According to AP, the college is staying true to its previous condemnation of the divisive and unpopular anthem protest by announcing that it is removing all uniforms they've purchased from Nike featuring the brand's famous logo.
The college president, Jerry C. Davis, issued an unequivocal statement about why the college is trashing its Nike branded gear. "If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them," Davis said in a statement reported by AP. "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."
That the college is having this response to Nike making Kaepernick the face of the brand isn't surprising; as AP notes, "Last year, the college added a stipulation to competition contracts, saying it would walk away from any game where the opposing team takes a knee, sits or turns its back on the flag or anthem."
Meanwhile, Trump is clearly enjoying watching the fallout from Nike's endorsement of the leader of the movement he's enjoyed railing against since it first got going.
Kaepernick started the anthem kneeling protest movement during preseason 2016, when he was the backup QB for the San Francisco 49ers. After the press noticed he refused to stand for the national anthem, he told NFL Media, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Kaepernick has frequented the headlines ever since, including for his "Pig Cops" practice socks, his praise of Fidel Castro, and his racially-charged feud with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. After leading the 49ers to a dreadful 2-14 record, Kaepernick opted out of his contract and hasn't been picked up by a NFL team since, for which Kaepernick is now suing the league, citing alleged "collusion" among owners to keep him out for his ratings-damaging comments and actions.