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August 19, 2019

Colo. sporting goods store that spurned Nike wear after Colin Kaepernick ad campaign goes out of business

February 14, 2019
Nike logo (Getty Images)

Prime Time Sports, the Colorado Springs store that stopped selling Nike wear in protest at the brand’s support of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, is going out of business.

“PRIME TIME SPORTS is closing. All merchandise 40% OFF,” owner Stephen Martin announced on Facebook on Monday. “Thank You for 21 mostly good years. For everybody that has offered help and support through the ‘Honor The Flag’ memorial wall and NIKE boycott, now is your time to help me liquidate.”


PRIME TIME SPORTS is closing. All merchandise 40% OFF. Thank You for 21 mostly good years.For everybody that has…

Posted by Stephen Kurtis Martin on Monday, February 11, 2019

The store has stood steadfastly in opposition to pro athletes who went down on one knee rather than stand during the national anthem at games. In 2016, Prime Time had canceled an autograph-signing session with former Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall after he “took a knee,” as the gesture became known, reported KKTV.

Kaepernick famously took a knee also in 2016 in protest of police brutality against African-Americans after widely circulated videos of innocent people being killed by overzealous cops. He was booed in San Diego for doing so, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.

The gesture ignited vociferous debate nationwide over respect for the flag among those who opposed the protest action. For those who understood that Kaepernick had kneeled to protest police violence rather than disrespect the flag, the ad campaign and endorsement deal launched by Nike last fall featuring the 49ers quarterback and other black athletes came as a welcome validation.

Not so for Martin, who sold off his Nike products at a steep discount and boycotted the brand, as KKTV reported.

The Nike boycott’s effect on his business was just one of several reasons Martin shut down after 21 years, he told KKTV. In addition to fallout from the Nike move, he cited a growth in online shopping that ate into his sales, and increasing rent, according to KRDO. But the Nike decision was definitely a factor, he said.

“Being a sports store and not having Nike jerseys is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas,” he told KKTV. “They have a virtual monopoly on jerseys. There is no other option. We had a really good Christmas season … but it’s caught up to me.”

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