Nike’s campaign, featuring Kaepernick’s message of “believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” debuted last week. The company’s stock dipped the following day, amid images of people destroying Nike gear in protest of the company’s association with Kaepernick. But online sales spiked in the days after the ad was released, according to Edison Trends, and as of Tuesday at noon the company’s stock price was higher than it had been before the campaign’s release.
TMU made the decision, according to a statement by the school, partly because Kaepernick “mocks our troops.” The anthem demonstration by Kaepernick and other NFL players was meant to raise awareness of police brutality and social injustice, with the demonstrating players maintaining that their gesture had nothing to do with the military.
Hiring Kaepernick, “a person known for wearing pigs on his socks, mocking law enforcement, kneeling against our flag, and mocking our troops, is reprehensible to my family and to the Truett McConnell family,” TMU President Emil Caner said in a statement last week. Caner’s wife, he said, “was raised under the oppression of socialistic communism” and became a citizen five years ago, “joyfully pledging allegiance to these United States and her flag.”
“If Nike chooses to apologize to our troops and to our law enforcement officers, then — and only then — will TMU reconsider their brand,” Caner said. In the meantime, he said, the school will donate proceeds from past Nike sales to the Wounded Warrior Project and to the Fraternal Order of Police.
The College of the Ozarks announced last week that it would “choose its country over the company,” following a theme from last year, when the school announced it would walk away if an opposing team took a knee, sat or turned its back on the flag or during the anthem.
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement. “If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them. 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.”
The school says it has a goal to “encourage an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and willingness to defend it.”
“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,” Marci Linson, the school’s vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, said.
Over the weekend, members of the volleyball team wore gray tees with “OZARKS” across the back. The team will switch to Adidas uniforms.
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