The College of the Ozarks announced earlier this week week, that they had decided to “choose country over company,” and do away with all athletic uniforms which display the Nike logo.
By week’s end, we can report that the private Christian college in Point Lookout, Missouri, has stayed true to its word.
According to the Hill:
The College of the Ozarks volleyball team wore t-shirts during Friday’s match instead of the maroon long-sleeved jerseys that contained the Nike swoosh, The Springfield News-Leader reported.
The new attire came days after the College of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis said in a statement that the school would “choose its country over company” and remove Nike’s logo from its athletic uniforms.
The decision came after Nike announced that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
Nike’s decision to make Kaepernick the face of their ad campaign was met with significant backlash on social media and, on some college campuses. Kaepernick launched the highly controversial NFL anthem protest movement by first sitting, then kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner in 2016.
The Missouri college wasted no time responding to Nike’s move.
“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 explained.
“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.”
This is not the first time the small private Christian college has taken a stand on the anthem issue. In October of 2017, the school made it a policy that all coaches and players had to show respect for the anthem.
According to KMBC:
Dr. Marci Linson, vice president of patriotic activities and dean of admissions at the college, oversees patriotic activities and safeguards the college’s patriotic 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,’ Linson said.
The first Kaepernick ad aired during the NFL season opener on Thursday night. Nike has seen a 34 percent drop in favorability since the start of the Kaepernick ad campaign.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn