AP NEWS

Sporting goods store to close after removing Nike products in protest of Colin Kaepernick

February 14, 2019

A Colorado man is closing his sporting goods store months after he stopped selling all Nike-related products in protest of the company using Colin Kaepernick as a spokesperson.

Stephen Martin, of Colorado Springs, told KOAA 5 NBC that he can’t afford the rent for Prime Time Sports after more than 20 years in business.

In the fall, Martin removed all Nike products from the store’s shelves once the company used Kaepernick as the face of its “Just Do It” campaign.

Martin’s store sold NFL apparel for all 32 teams, but stopped selling jerseys because they were Nike-made.

Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas,” Martin said. “How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys.”

Prime Time Sports is now selling its remaining merchandise 40 percent off until they sell out. Martin said he’s helping his staff find other jobs and estimated the store will close in about a month.

This isn’t the first time Martin has disrupted his business over player protesters.

In 2016, Martin canceled an autograph session at his store with Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall following Marshall’s decision to kneel during the national anthem before a game.

Martin said he didn’t “give in” to “big Nike and big dollars.”

That part of the military respect thats in me just cannot be sacrificed or compromised, as I believe Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick both did,” Martin said. “I dont like losing a business over it, but I rather be able to live with myself.”

Martin said sales have dropped 15 percent in the last three years, blaming the decline on online shopping.

But Martin also gave another reason for the decline.

“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” Martin said.