For his Sunday message ahead of 9/11, the pastor of Mobile's Woodbridge Baptist Church received a standing ovation for an unequivocal message he delivered to Nike.
"The Rev. Mack Morris took a hold of an old Nike headband and a wristband, held them both up before a packed church, and cut them," AL.com reports.
"I ain't using that no more," said Rev. Morris in the middle of a sermon he titled "Storms of Life."
"I've bought my last pair of Nike shoes," he said, explaining that he was done with Nike because of their endorsement of former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick, who started the national anthem protests by declaring that he is "not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."
"He's inked a contract with Nike," Morris said of Kaepernick. "No one knows or is telling how many multi-million dollars that is going to be simply because he won't stand when the national anthem is sung."
Then Morris delivered the line that inspired his congregation to stand in applause: "America may not be the best country in the world and we have a lot of faults, but I tell you what, a lot of folks died for the sake of what the flag represents," he said.
In an interview with AL.com Monday, Morris said he knows "there are a lot of people, in general, who are very upset" by Nike's decision to embrace the divisive and unpopular protest movement.
"I know there are a number of high schools and colleges who are dropping Nike," he said. "Some folks are tied into long-term contracts, so I don't think we've seen the end of this. It's a ground swell. I think Nike, personally, made a calculated decision."
As The Daily Wire has highlighted, Morris is not alone in expressing his disapproval of Nike making Kaepernick the face of its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign. A Louisiana mayor has banned the town's recreational facilities from purchasing any more Nike equipment, and one Missouri college has announced that its athletic programs will no longer sport anything with the Nike symbol.
While Nike's sales are up big so far over last year, a recent Morning Consult study suggests that the decision to embrace the anthem protests might prove to be a bad move. Some key takeaways from the survey:
Nike’s Favorability Drops by Double Digits: Before the announcement, Nike had a net +69 favorable impression among consumers, it has now declined 34 points to +35 favorable.
No Boost Among Key Demos: Among younger generations, Nike users, African Americans, and other key demographics, Nike’s favorability declined rather than improved.
Purchasing Consideration Also Down: Before the announcement, 49 percent of Americans said they were absolutely certain or very likely to buy Nike products. That figure is down to 39 percent now.
The Effect on the NFL Seems Small, For Now: Forty percent of consumers said Nike’s campaign does not make them more or less likely to watch/attend NFL games — 21 percent said more likely and 26 percent said less likely (14 percent didn’t know).