Last September, Nike unveiled its iconic ad campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. This stirred up conservative party members who believed Kaepernick’s symbolic kneeling during the national anthem—a gesture intended to protest police brutality and racial injustice—was somehow unpatriotic.
In response, anti-Kaepernick conservatives began burning their Nike gear and swearing never to shop there again, while Nike’s stock hit an all-time high.
Five months later, retailers are beginning to realize just how costly their decision to boycott the sporting good giant really is.
After more than two decades in business, Prime Time Sports store owner Stephen Martin says he is unable to afford his monthly lease at Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs.
Prime Time began its downward spiral after Martin decided to pull all Nike products from its shelves, supporting the conservative stance against Kaepernick.
“Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas. How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys,” Martin told News5.
“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” he said.
Even with his business failing, Martin insisted he made the right decision.
“I didn’t give in to big Nike and big dollars. I didn’t give in. I did it my way,” he told News5.
“That part of the military respect that’s in me just cannot be sacrificed or compromised, as I believe Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick both did. I don’t like losing a business over it, but I rather be able to live with myself,” he added.
Martin expects the store will close its doors within the month.
It wasn’t long before word of Prime Time’s closing hit social media.
They guy who pulled all Nike gear from his store in Colorado Springs because of the Kaepernick ad? He is closing down his store.— Alexander Supertramp (@JustMuteMeNow) February 13, 2019
“...perhaps there are more [Kaepernick] supporters out there than I realized.” https://t.co/peIC8RAW8J
And people were pleased to see karma in action.
It’s like the garbage took itself out pic.twitter.com/G4XmiEmPpK
— aunnie nope (@seekkier) February 13, 2019
““That part of the military respect that’s in me just cannot be sacrificed or compromised” Exceppppppt Kaepernick’s protest had nothing to do with the military, but whatever spin you want to put on it, have at it. Looks like it’s working out well for you.
— JP (@jpride) February 13, 2019
— Silvermane (@TreeHappyDog) February 13, 2019
Oh, the irony… ?????? pic.twitter.com/IwKB9DWAwc
— Marcus Rosette (@Marky_Rosette) February 13, 2019