(Meredith) – A private Christian university in Georgia is cutting ties with Nike over its new “Just Do It” ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.
Truett McConnell University president Dr. Emir Caner said in a statement on Friday that the school would not support a company that uses someone to market their products who “mocks our troops.”
The small liberal arts college in Cleveland, Georgia will stop carrying Nike gear in its campus store. Any remaining products will be donated to Wounded Warriors and the Fraternal Order of Police, according to the release.
“If Nike chooses to apologize to our troops and to our law enforcement officers, then – and only then – will TMU reconsider their brand,” said Caner. “In the meanwhile, let us honor true heroes, those who protect us daily, some even sacrificing their own lives. They are the true heroes.”
On Sept. 3, Nike unveiled its ad campaign featuring Kaepernick, who became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial injustice. He is now a free agent.
The ad which has appeared on billboards in New York and California includes a close-up photo of Kaepernick with the sentence: "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."
Truett McConnell University is the second Christian college to drop Nike this past week over the ad, following the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. The mayor of Kenner, Louisiana also responded by banning booster clubs from buying Nike products for use at the city’s recreation centers.
Despite the backlash, online sales for the company jumped 31 percent last week, according to a new report from Edison Trends, a digital commerce research firm.
Copyright 2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.