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Missouri college to remove uniforms containing Nike logo over Kaepernick deal
A small private college in Missouri says it will end its use of uniforms containing the Nike logo over due to the athletic brand's decision to select Colin Kaepernick as the face of its "Just do it" advertising campaign.
College of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis said in a statement obtained Wednesday by the Chronicle of Higher Education that the college would not support the company over Kaepernick's involvement in kneeling in protest against police brutality and racism during the national anthem before football games.
The protests, which have spread throughout the NFL, are widely credited with Kaepernick's inability to sign with an NFL team since 2016.
"If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them," Davis said in a statement. "We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform."
"Nike is free to campaign as it sees fit, as the college is free, and honor-bound by its mission and goals, to ensure that it respects our country and those who truly served and sacrificed," added Marci Linson, the college's dean of admissions.
Linson also holds the title of "vice president for patriotic activities" at the school, according to the Chronicle, which added a stipulation to contracts for athletes and coaches last fall mandating they "show respect for the American flag and national anthem."
A Nike spokesperson said this week that the company views Kaepernick as one of the most "inspirational" athletes of his generation, rebuking conservatives who have attacked Kaepernick and others who participate in the protests.
"We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward," Gino Fisanotti, Nike's vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.
President Trump, who has regularly clashed with the NFL over the issue of anthem protests, said Wednesday that the company was being "killed" by boycotts over the decision to make Kaepernick the face of their brand.
"Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts," Trump tweeted.
"I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way?" Trump added. "As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!"