Colorado sports store forced to close after removing all Nike gear in Kaepernick protest

Owner says there are more Kaepernick supporters than he realized

Colin Kaepernick at the Sports Illustrated 2017 Sportsperson of the Year show on Dec. 5, 2017.
Colin Kaepernick at the Sports Illustrated 2017 Sportsperson of the Year show on Dec. 5, 2017. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A Colorado sporting goods store is closing up shop months after the owner decided to remove all Nike gear in protest of an advertisement featuring Colin Kaepernick.

Stephen Martin, the owner of Prime Time Sports, pulled all Nike gear from his store in September after the company featured former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. Kaepernick sparked a nationwide debate during the 2016 season when he took a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness about police violence against African Americans.

In September, Martin announced on his Facebook page that all Nike gear would be half-price until it was all gone. "To me, putting profit before principal questions an individual or an institution," he wrote.

"Honor The Flag" Day 714. My name is Stephen Martin owner of Prime Time Sports since 1997. To me, putting profit...

Posted by Stephen Kurtis Martin on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Five months later, the decision to pull all Nike gear had affected Martin's bottom line and forced him to shutter his business.

“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,” Martin told KOAA.

In 2016, Martin cancelled an autograph session with Brandon Marshall after the wide receiver chose to kneel during the national anthem.

“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” said Martin.

Martin announced Monday that all merchandise would be 40% off. The store will remain open until the everthing is gone. Martin estimates the store will officially close in about a month.

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

Watch KOAA's report below:

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