A sporting goods store in Colorado has gone out of business after it stopped selling Nike products in protest over the company's controversial campaign with NFL icon Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick became a controversial figure in the US after kneeling during the American national anthem before games to protest discrimination and police brutality against black people.

Nike's latest "Just Do It" campaign included a photo of Kaepernick's face, with the words "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything" superimposed on it.

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid kneel on the sideline, during the anthem. Photo / Getty
Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid kneel on the sideline, during the anthem. Photo / Getty

The ad led to calls for a boycott of the company, with more than 42,000 people tweeting the hashtag #NikeBoycott the day after it was released.


Stephen Martin, owner of sports store Prime Time Sports, stopped selling Nike products in support of the boycott but has since advertised a 40 per cent off closing down sale on Facebook after 21 years of business.

Martin said since taking all Nike products and current NFL player apparel off his shelves, sales had dropped dramatically, with some customers slamming his decision.

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, 11 February 2019

"Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas," he told KOAA-TV. "How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys.

"As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realised.

"My mother was just called a 'w***e' over the phone while working (the) register. This ugliness has to stop. I am not a 'racist pig."

Although having to call time on his business, Martin stood by his decision to protest and said he felt proud that he did what he felt was right.

"I didn't give in to big Nike and big dollars. I didn't give in. I did it my way," he said.

"That part of the military respect that's in me just cannot be sacrificed or compromised, as I believe Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick both did. I don't like losing a business over it, but I rather be able to live with myself."


Prime Time Sports will stay open until all remaining stock is sold, which Martin estimated would take a month.