A Colorado athletic store owner who decided to stop selling all Nike products after the company released an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick just announced that his store is closing due to lack of sales.
Once the kneeling protests in the NFL began, Prime Time Sports owner Stephen Martin could not get on board with them. When the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl in 2016, Martin arranged for an autograph signing with linebacker Brandon Marshall.
His store was set to make $10,000 from the signing; however, after he knelt during the Broncos season opener later that year, Martin canceled the event.
According to Martin, he received several complaints from town residents for inviting a provocative player to Colorado Springs, which is known for its military support, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Then in 2018, when Nike announced that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be the face of a new ad campaign, Martin made the decision to stop selling the company's apparel.
After trying to drive sales without his regular amount of merchandise, Martin announced Monday that Prime Time Sports is closing.
"Being a sports store without Nike is like being a gas station without gas," Martin joked in a phone interview with the Tribune.
Although the NFL has reportedly blackballed Kaepernick from playing, Nike is still the NFL’s official apparel sponsor. This means that Martin could not sell any official NFL apparel such as jerseys, shirts, hoodies, hats and jackets.
“It was a nightmare from hell,” Martin said.
Although Nike saw an upswing in sales after running the ad featuring Kaepernick, Martin refused to carry the products.
“Nike ran that ad to increase business, and I’m just collateral damage,” he said. “And it could be that there are more people that are in opposition to me than I realize.”
Now, he’s trying to sell everything he can before he’s forced to pay another month of rent for the store.
(Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images)