SEC fans write to administrators concerned with Nike Kaepernick campaign
One of the more divisive issues in football in recent memory has reached the SEC.
By way of Nike’s recent ad campaign featuring former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick, several fans across the league have communicated their concerns with administrators across the SEC.
Since several SEC schools have contracts with Nike, and athletes have worn the apparel for years, the issue hit close to home for fans who opposed the political stance of Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been at the center of a movement most notably known for him kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice.
Dan Wolken of USATODAY compiled a series of emails from fans to administrators across college sports, but including SEC schools Arkansas, Kentucky and LSU.
Arkansas had more than a dozen emails about the issue, and one fan, Jeff Ashcraft, vowed he wouldn’t buy a Nike shirt with the Arkansas logo on it, like the one Chad Morris wore in the season opener.
“This should not be allowed to happen,” he wrote. “While I’m guessing we need Nike’s money and we probably can’t get out of our deal anyway … but someone in the athletic department should make an announcement that we disagree with Nike’s decision.”
A Kentucky fan called it un-American and the Kaepernick actions and Nike’s link with him and UK as bad as rooting for arch-rival Louisville.
“My life, therefore my family’s life, revolves around U of K athletics,” fan Charles Schweinhart wrote to athletics director Mitch Barnhart. “The news from Nike is very troubling. I can not support a company that rewards un-American actions. Will this cause me to divorce Kentucky? Should I start pulling for the Adidas school in Jefferson County. Help me. To leave the (Big Blue Nation) would cause my father to roll over in his grave, as well as making me change 3/4 of my wardrobe. I love the Cats. HELP.”
An LSU alumnus wanted his school to separate itself from Nike.
“Supporting Colin Kaeprernick (sic) via Nike is not in keep with LSU’s core values and its military history. I look forward to your response and your immediate action,” William Donahue wrote.
Apparently Donahue’s concerns were satisfied after a long phone conversation with a deputy athletics director.