Store that boycotted Nike after Colin Kaepernick ad goes out of business
Colin Kaepernick implored people to believe in something take a stand in his Nike ad last fall.
Colorado store owner Stephen Martin took Kaepernick’s advice.
Angered by the former NFL quarterback’s message, Martin removed Nike inventory from Prime Time Sports in Colorado Springs — which led to him being forced to shut down the store, according to CNN.
Kaepernick’s message came amid two years of his rise as a polarizing figure, raising awareness about police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem at the start of NFL games in 2016. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016.
Many, including Martin, found kneeling to be unpatriotic and disrespectful to service members.
“You don’t trample over the men who have given Colin Kaepernick and me the right to free speech,” Martin told CNN.
Martin said he knew the boycott would hurt his store, saying not having Nike would be “like being a gas station without gas.”
It wasn’t the first time Martin took a stand against protesting football players.
In 2016, Martin canceled an autograph appearance by then-Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall after he had taken a knee during the national anthem, CNN said.
CNN reported Martin had rent bills that were past due, telling employees this week he was closing the store. Everything in the store is 40 percent off.
“I didn’t give in to big Nike and big dollars,” Martin told KOAA in Colorado Springs. “I didn’t give in. I did it my way.”
Matt Rosenberg is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Matt at 412-320-7937, [email protected] or via Twitter @Matt_Rosenberg.