Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick praised Miami Dolphins players who knelt in protest during the National Anthem on Sunday, as institutional backlash against Nike picks up steam.
Dolphins wideouts Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson were reportedly the first and only NFL players to publicly kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner at the commencement of their game, which Kaepernick acknowledged in a tweet.
“My Brothers [Kenny Stills] and [Albert Wilson] continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!” Kaepernick wrote. “Love is at the root of our resistance!”
My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!
“Love is at the root of our resistance!”✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/2kSsX4s7EU
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 9, 2018
Following Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick as the face of a new marketing push, the company quickly suffered a $4 billion blow to its market cap amid vows of boycotts and viral videos of former customers burning Nike apparel.
Rejection of the Nike brand has reached the institutional level as a growing list of colleges, and now even an entire town, are looking to cut ties with the company.
Mayor Ben Zahn of Kenner, Louisiana, has issued a directive forbidding city recreational facilities from purchasing any Nike products.
“Effective immediately all purchases made by any booster club operating at any Kenner Recreation Facility for wearing apparel, shoes, athletic equipment and/or any athletic product must be approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation, or his designee,” the memo states. “Under no circumstances will any Nike product or any product with the Nike logo be purchased for use or delivery at any City of Kenner Recreational Facility.”
College of the Ozarks, a private Christian school in Missouri, announced that it is dropping Nike as its equipment and apparel sponsor all together, stating that they will choose “country over company.”
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” said College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis in an official 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.”
Additionally, Liberty University is reportedly seeking alternatives to Nike for its athletic gear.
“President Jerry Falwell Jr. says the school wants to find a supplier that supports veterans, the U.S. flag, American values and law enforcement,” reports WSET. “Falwell said they are exploring the situation and that if Nike believes law enforcement is unfair and biased, they will look around — but will honor any contract that is intact.”
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst