A tiny Southern Baptist university in Georgia is willing to sacrifice between $10,000-$20,000 annually by cutting its ties to Nike to protest the company’s ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.
Truett McConnell University, in Cleveland, Ga., which has roughly 2,100 students, has decided that the funds accrued from selling Nike-branded school t-shirts, hats and sweatshirts at the campus bookstore was not worth it; Emir Caner, the president of Truett McConnell, said Caner said that Nike “mocks our troops” with its support of Kaepernick, who he said was “mocking” law enforcement and the military with his protests during the national anthem, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC).
Caner, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, became the president of the university in 2008. Writing on the university’s website, Caner noted that his wife grew up “under the oppression of socialistic communism,” and only became a citizen in 2013. He added, “America has sacrificially given my family the freedoms we enjoy today. For Nike to then hire Colin Kaepernick, a person known for wearing pigs on his socks, mocking law enforcement, kneeling against our flag, and mocking our troops, is reprehensible to my family and to the Truett McConnell family.”
Another tiny college, The College of the Ozarks, has removed all uniforms purchased from Nike that have Nike’s logo. College president Jerry C. Davis stated, “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,”
Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, has said although his school has a contract with Nike, the school may not renew it when it expires. He stated, “If Nike really does believe that law enforcement in this country is unfair and biased, I think we will look around. If we have a contract, we’ll honor it, but we strongly support law enforcement and strongly support our military and veterans who died to protect our freedoms and if the company really believes what Colin Kaepernick believes, it’s going to be hard for us to keep doing business with them.”
AJC noted, “In the SEC, 10 of the 14 teams wear Nike, including the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia, which signed a $40.8 million, 10-year extension with the company in 2015. In the Atlantic Coast Conference, Duke University and the University of North Carolina are among nine schools that wear the Swoosh.”
Caner said any profits from the remaining Nike gear on campus will be sent to Wounded Warriors and the Fraternal Order of Police. He concluded, “If Nike chooses to apologize to our troops and to our law enforcement officers, then – and only then – will TMU reconsider their brand. In the meanwhile, let us honor true heroes, those who protect us daily, some even sacrificing their own lives. They are the true heroes.”