COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – The owner of a sports store in Colorado Springs is going to stop selling Nike gear — even if it means his business will take a major hit.
Stephen Martin, owner of Prime Time Sports, says Nike merchandise makes up 40-50 percent of the store’s inventory, including popular and pricey items.
“They are the exclusive dealer of the NFL jerseys, it’s all Nike,” Martin said.
Martin said NFL jersey sales are a huge part of his business. He said he will miss the sales but this is a sacrifice he’s willing to make.
This comes days after Nike rolled out a new ad campaign featuring former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who states: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick ignited a controversial protest movement when he started kneeling during the National Anthem before football games in 2016. Kaepernick said he was protesting police shootings of African-American men and other social injustices in the United States. Kaepernick went unsigned in 2017 and claims that owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests.
“The thing that fired me up the most, that got me motivated to put the sign up and the sale was the last two words of their add, ‘sacrificed everything,’” Martin explained. “He doesn’t know sacrifice, not in my opinion.”
Martin points to his late father-in-law as someone who did know sacrifice.
“I remember asking him what the most difficult part of being a POW and surviving the Bataan Death March… he said the hardest part was watching his fellow soldiers get beat up and killed in front of him and he couldn’t defend them because it would have cost him his life,” Martin told KKTV.
“So Colin, you don’t know what sacrifice is, you just don’t know what it is.”
Some shoppers, on the other hand, were more interested in scoring a good deal than taking a stand.
“Here’s the line to the cash register. Lots of folks taking advantage of the 1/2 off sale on Nike gear,” KKTV reporter Spencer Wilson tweeted.
Tennis legend Serena Williams is also featured in the same series of ads from Nike. She is quoted as saying she is “Especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today” for Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick in their ads.