On Wednesday, College of the Ozarks announced that it was disposing of all Nike athletic uniforms and equipment. This decision came after Nike released its “Just Do it” slogan’s 30thanniversary ad campaign. The campaign features free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who is known for starting the NFL kneeling demonstrations during the national anthem.
College of the Ozarks considers patriotism and American pride important parts of the institution’s identity and education, even featuring a “patriotic education” tab on their website.
According to the institution’s website, in 2017, the college updated its sports competition contracts, adding that all players and coaches participating in competition demonstrate respect for the American flag and the national anthem. The College also filed a request to have the NAIA move the 2018 Men’s Division II Basketball Tournament from the College of the Ozarks to another venue. This request was granted.
The college’s president Jerry C. Davis made a statement on Wednesday saying, “In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America.”
Davis continues, “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.”
The vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions at College of Ozarks Dr. Marci Linson, said in the press release published on the school’s website, “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.” Marci’s job is to oversee patriotic activities at the College and protect the institution’s patriotic goal.
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