Stephen Martin, who owns Prime Time Sports, a memorabilia and sporting goods store in Colorado, said that his store is going out of business after he decided to boycott Nike in response to the company’s Colin Kaepernick advertisements.
In those advertisements, Kaepernick was shown under the copy, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
The backlash against Nike was significant with plenty of people promising to boycott the company, but the marketing paid off — their stocks surged over 9 percent — seemed to prove that standing with Kaepernick was a smart decision.
Martin decided to stop stocking Nike and sold out of all his gear by the company; he cut the prices in half to move the inventory more quickly. He realized that it was a brash decision, telling the Washington Post, “Being a sports store without Nike is like being a gas station without gas.”
Not carrying Nike significantly limited his inventory. The company is the official sponsor of the NFL and produces Michael Jordan’s massively popular shoe line.
But the Post also noted that the entire mall where Martin’s store is housed is having a tough time, the Sears nearby is closing.
Martin has been an outspoken critic of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. In 2016, he canceled an appearance by a Denver Bronco who was supposed to sign autographs in the store. Martin said that he saw the athlete kneeling during the anthem and pulled the plug on the signing.
The walls and windows of his store are covered with thousands of pictures of members of the military that people who support Martin’s fight sent to him after he posted about his decision on Facebook.
The former store owner is now massively in debt, he owes tens of thousands in rent but he told CNN, “This was never about property to me, this was about principle.”