Nike Is 'Exploiting' a Divisive Issue: MO College Says It's Dropping Nike After Kaepernick Ad
The president of a private Christian college said Nike is stirring up controversy with its new Colin Kaepernick ad campaign and his school's athletic teams will not wear the company's apparel in response.
Jerry C. Davis, the president of College of the Ozarks in Missouri, said on "Fox & Friends" Friday that Nike is "exploiting" the issue of national anthem protests by NFL players, including Kaepernick, in order to make money.
"The Nike Corporation has not acted responsibly," he told Brian Kilmeade, explaining the college's decision is based on "civic responsibility."
Nike recently announced a multiyear agreement with Kaepernick including his own apparel line, video ads and billboards featuring his image, and a contribution to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback's Know Your Rights charity.
The company drew immediate backlash this week for a print ad that stated, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything." Davis, echoing the sentiments of many police officers and service members, said Kaepernick is not an accurate depiction of someone who has sacrificed.
"We don't like to see the word 'sacrifice' thrown around too much. If you want to find sacrifice, you're more likely to find that in somebody that wears this nation's uniform, not somebody on some athletic field who's making a lot of money," he said, noting that a retired four-star general who served in Vietnam is the chairman of the board at the school.
Davis said he believes Americans are growing tired of divisiveness and that Nike is "stirring controversy." He explained that College of the Ozarks, nicknamed Hardwork U, is a "work college" where students must show financial need in order to attend.
The school also made headlines last year by declaring its teams would not play in any game in which a player knelt for the national anthem. Kilmeade said the show reached out to Nike for comment, but did not hear back.
Watch the full interview above.