Report: Liberty University exploring whether to drop Nike after Colin Kaepernick ads
On Wednesday, the College of the Ozarks, a small Christian school in Missouri, announced that it would no longer wear Nike because of differing ideologies.
Now, another school is pondering the same move.
According to USA Today’s Dan Wolken, Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.) could re-consider its relationship with Nike, too.
“We’re exploring the situation,” Liberty President Jerry Falwell told USA Today. “If Nike really does believe that law enforcement in this country is unfair and biased, I think we will look around. If we have a contract, we’ll honor it, but we strongly support law enforcement and strongly support our military and veterans who died to protect our freedoms and if the company really believes what Colin Kaepernick believes, it’s going to be hard for us to keep doing business with them.
“But if it’s just a publicity stunt to bring attention to Nike or whatever, that’s different. We understand that. We understand how marketing works. But they’re going to have to convince us that they’re not proactively attacking law enforcement officers and our military. If that’s the reason behind using this ad, we’re going to have a hard time staying.”
Liberty’s contract with Nike to outfit its athletic teams runs through 2024.
Fallwell was particularly concerned about Kaepernick’s socks.
“I didn’t like the socks with the cops depicted as pigs and I think if Nike really feels the same way I’m sure we can find a company that’s just as good to deal with,” Falwell said.
Liberty football is now playing as a member of the FBS for the first time as an independent in 2018, and it’ll be interesting to see what decision they make. The Flames play Auburn later this season.
Meanwhile, Nike’s first TV ad with Kaepernick aired during the NFL’s first game Thursday night.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 5, 2018