The volleyball team from the College of the Ozarks announced that they would be ditching their Nike uniforms for grey t-shirts after Nike’s controversial new ad staring Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick started the NFL national anthem protests and has made many other controversial statements during his time as a quarterback in the league.
The private Christian school wanted nothing to do with the brand after it chose Kaepernick as its brand representative.
In response to Nike’s new ad, the College of the Ozarks penned a press release stating why they would no longer compete in Nike uniforms, stating, “College of the Ozarks plans to remove all athletic uniforms purchased from Nike or that contain the Nike emblem. Student athletes will no longer wear the brand in response to the company’s new ad campaign.”
College President Jerry C. Davis didn’t hold back in his criticisms of the Kaepernick deal, stating:
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America. 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.”
Davis also spoke to Fox News, calling his decision part of his “patriotic goal” based on “civic responsibility and a love of America.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 7, 2018
Vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions Dr. Marci Linson added to Davis’ comments, saying, “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.”
This is not the first time that the College of the Ozarks has made difficult decisions to protect its patriotic values. In October 2017, the college amended its athletic policies requiring all students participate in the national anthem in a respectful manner.
It also opted out of hosting the NAIA Division II basketball tournament because the league would not guarantee that all players would stand for the anthem.
The college plans to switch to Adidas uniforms as soon as it can, but in the meantime, their volleyball team wore grey t-shirts.
Head coach Stacy Muckenthaler told USA Today, “I’m just so proud of the college for taking a stand,” adding, “I’m just very proud of them.”