Sports store to close after owner’s Nike, Colin Kaepernick protest backfires

U.S. & World

The owner of a Colorado sporting goods store who took a stand against Nike last year is now losing his business.

Stephen Martin decided to stop selling Nike after the company aired its “just do it” ad featuring former quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 

It now appears Martin’s decision has backfired.

Stephen Martin said he knew this day would come

Just not this soon.

“I just can’t keep the doors open anymore,” he said.

Prime Time staff are posting discount signs all over the store.

“That’s definitely what brought us in for sure,” customers said.

But customers are quickly learning this sale will be the final one.

“I’m disappointed you guys are going out of business. Yeah man. All of us are that’s for sure,” a customer said.

This isn’t the first time Martin has slashed prices like this… Choosing to get rid of all Nike apparel last fall, following the company’s ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick. 

“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 said.

Martin says online sales have also contributed to the 15 percent decline in sales he’s seen in the last three years.

But loyal customers like Dave Huddie still prefer to stay local. 

Huddie buys a variety of things: “A wallet, a hat, a blanket — I did it. I bought it. Just follow me, I’m just going to keep going.”

The store will stay open until there’s nothing left.

But Martin says he’ll be leaving with his dignity.

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

Martin says he’s now trying to help his staff find new jobs.

He thinks the store could close as early as four weeks.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

NBC4 Jobs

Today's Central OH Forecast

More Forecast

Don't Miss


Storm Team 4 on Alexa