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  • Nike effected the store owner’s boycott when the company put out a 30th anniversary “Just Do It” Kaepernick advertisement.

    Nike effected the store owner’s boycott when the company put out a 30th anniversary “Just Do It” Kaepernick advertisement. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 February 2019

The store's sales reportedly dropped 15 percent over the last three years.

A U.S. sporting goods store has been forced out of business after pulling the Nike brand in protest of the company’s association with former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  

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“Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas. How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys,” the store owner, Stephen Martin, told a local NBC station, explaining that he “just can’t keep the doors open anymore” because the absence of players’ jerseys delivered a significant, and final, blow to the business.

Martin's sales reportedly dropped 15 percent over the last three years.

In the NFL’s 2016 season, Kaepernick sparked controversy, and major demonstrations - by fellow players - across the league, after the former quarterback began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. 

Last year, Nike effected Martin’s boycott when the company put out a 30th-anniversary “Just Do It” advertisement, which featured an image of the ex-ball player, signaling an endorsement deal had been forged.

The Colorado-based Prime Time Sports - which has been in business for almost 21 years - decided to remove all Nike merchandise from its shelves in protest of the endorsement.

The Nike-Kaepernick ads prompted some customers to boycott the brand, but did not sufficiently adversely affect the sporting magnate’s revenue, which grew despite the backlash.

“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” the store owner admitted, stating “ That part of the military respect that’s in me just cannot be sacrificed or compromised.”

Ironically, Kaepernick initially chose to sit during the national anthem before switching to kneeling after consulting an Army veteran.

Martin also canceled a scheduled appearance by Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall in 2016, after the player took a knee, during the national anthem, in solidarity with Kaepernick.

“I don’t like losing a business over it, but I rather be able to live with myself,” the soon-to-be-former-business-owner Martin said.

United States President Donald Trump had also spoken against the NFL protests multiple times, as well as slammed the Nike advertisement.

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