Prime Time Sports will be closing for business after more than 20 years in business due to owner Stephen Martin’s boycott of Nike after they featured former NFL star Colin Kaepernick.
Last September, Nike focused their 2018 “Just Do It” ad on former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and his “sacrifice”. He is suing the league for blackballing him due to his protesting of police brutality and racism. Kaepernick brought a spotlight to his cause by kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 season. Martin took offense and removed all Nike apparel from his store and slashed the prices. Now, he can no longer afford to pay the monthly lease on the store and items are once again discounted at 40%.
“I just can’t keep the doors open anymore,” Martin told News5 Monday.
Martin added that his actions were making it difficult to be operational. He had removed the very selections most people came in his establishment for.
“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’s store, the only full service, licensed fan shop between Castle Rock and the New Mexico border, also did not carry jerseys of the other 32 NFL teams because they were associated with Nike. Martin also cancelled an autograph session with Brandon Marshall at Prime Time. Martin objected to Marshall kneeling in protest.
“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” Martin said.
Martin insisted that he had no regrets despite the fact that he is now going out of business. His doors will close until there is nothing left to sell.
“I didn’t give in to big Nike and big dollars. I didn’t give in. I did it my way,” Martin said.