The owner of a sporting goods store in Colorado has said his store will close after stopping selling Nike products because of the company’s controversial campaign with Colin Kaepernick.
Prime Time Sports in Colorado Springs is shutting down after “mostly good 21 years,” owner Stephen Martin wrote on Facebook on Monday.
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He announced a 40% discount on all merchandise and thanked those who “offered their help and support through the” Honor The Flag “memorial wall and the NIKE boycott.”
Martin said he could no longer afford to stay open after he stopped selling Nike products, in protest after the sports brand introduced Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, in his “Just Do It” campaign.
The controversial campaign ad included a photo of Kaepernick’s face, with the words “Believe in something. Even if that means sacrificing everything” superimposed on it. Nike’s move led to calls to boycott the company, with more than 42,000 people tweeting using the hashtag #NikeBoycott the day after the announcement was made.
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Martin told KOAA-TV that “being a sports store without Nike is a bit like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas.”
“How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys,” he said.
Martin said that despite the fact that NFL clothing for every team in the league is sold in his store, he does not currently sell the jerseys of any current NFL player due to his decision to boycott Nike.
“As much as I hate to admit it, there may be more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters than I thought,” Martin confessed, adding that he canceled an autograph event with Marshall, Denver Broncos in 2016 because linebacker kneeling during the national anthem.
Martin has said Prime Time Sports will remain open until he has sold all of his remaining merchandise, but he is apparently proud that he did what he thought was right.
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“I didn’t give in to the big Nike and the big dollars. I did not give in. I did it my way, ”he said. “That part of the military respect that is in me just cannot be sacrificed or compromised, as I think Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick both did. I don’t like losing a case because of it, but I prefer that I can live on my own. “
Martin expects his store to close in about a month.