A Colorado store that refused to sell Nike apparel after the brand released its Colin Kaepernick ad is going out of business

KOAAStore owner Stephen Martin talking to KOAA news.
  • A sporting goods store in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is closing its doors after 20 years, according to local news reports.
  • The owner says it’s partially due to his decision to stop selling Nike products following the brand’s release of its ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick.

Prime Time Sports, a sporting goods store in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will close its doors when all of its merchandise sells out, owner Stephen Martin said in a Facebook post earlier this week. It’s been in business for 20 years.

The reason why it’s closing, Martin told local NBC News affiliate KOAA, is that the store can’t afford rent anymore due to his decision to stop selling Nike products.

“I just can’t keep the doors open anymore,” Martin told the TV station. “Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas. How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys.”

A Nike boycott means that Prime Time can’t stock NBA or NFL jerseys from any team, as they have exclusive contracts with the brand.

Martin decided to deeply discount all of the store’s Nike apparel after the company produced and released an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick in September. Eventually, he stopped carrying Nike altogether.

Part of the campaign included a photo of Kaepernick with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” written over it.

Colin Kaepernick Nike adNike/Colin Kaepernick via TwitterNike’s ad with Colin Kaepernick.

The ad was controversial due to Kaepernick’s status as the face of the NFL’s kneeling player movement, which saw players kneel during the national anthem to protest police violence.

Martin also told the TV station that other factors weighed on the store’s business, which has been sagging for years. He says online sales cut into profits, contributing to a 15% decline over the last three years.

Some, like Martin, saw the players’ kneeling as disrespectful. Many threatened to take action or boycott, but Martin actually did.

He said it was the stand against Nike that drove the business to its current point.

“I didn’t give in to big Nike and big dollars. I did it my way,” Martin said. “I don’t like losing a business over it. But I’d rather be able to live with myself.”

Nike did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Prime Time will close when it runs out of merchandise, which Martin says should take about a month.

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