COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Stephen Martin, owner of Prime Time Sports sporting goods store in Colorado Springs, stands by his decision to choose principle over profit. Earlier this week Martin announced he was closing the sporting goods store due, in part, to lagging sales following his boycott of Nike products. Martin decided to stop selling Nike products after a 2018 advertisement featuring former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“This was never about property to me, this was about principle,” Martin, owner of Prime Time Sports, said Wednesday night while he was preparing to shut down his store.
“I ditched all NIKE back in the summer over the Kaepernick ad and I have less than a bag full of their disrespectable stuff left,” Martin wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
Kaepernick started kneeling during the National Anthem before NFL games in 2016, sparking a movement among other players, including Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall.
The ad said: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The words “sacrificing everything” stood out to Martin. And he decided he needed to take a stand against Nike. Martin decided to sell all of his Nike product at highly-discounted prices.
Five months later, Martin announced he would be closing the store.
“Being a sports store and not having Nike jerseys is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas. They have a virtual monopoly on jerseys. There is no other option,” Martin told the CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs, KKTV.
Martin said the boycott was about principle over profit and even though the lost revenue played a role in his decision to close the store he was absolutely glad he did it.
The move made headlines across the country and sparked lots of discussion online.
“I spent 30+ years in the Army Reserves (no combat) and am 90% disabled with the VA (70% w/Military). As a honorably medically discharged Veteran I thank you for supporting the military and the Flag!” one person commented on Martin’s post.
“Actions have consequences. You let your hate and blindness lead you to failure,” another wrote.
Multiple comments were crass and crude and filled with expletives.
Martin seemed to focus on the supportive messages and responded to one, “Your comment was soul rewarding.”
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)