College of the Ozarks drops Nike from athletic uniforms

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks plans to remove all athletic uniforms purchased from Nike or that contain the Nike emblem. Student athletes will no longer wear the brand in response to the company’s new ad campaign.
 
Nike released their ad campaign this week on the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” slogan.
 
College of the Ozarks has stated its views regarding patriotism, the American flag, and the national anthem. In October 2017, the College revised its contracts for competition in all sports, adding a stipulation that all participating players and coaches show respect for the American flag and national anthem. The College also requested that the NAIA move the 2018 Men’s Division II Basketball Tournament to another venue, which they did. The tournament is no longer played at College of the Ozarks.
 
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” said College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis. “If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them. We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform.”
 
Dr. Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, oversees patriotic activities at the College and safeguards the College’s patriotic goal: to encourage an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and willingness to defend it.
 
“Nike is free to campaign as it sees fit, as the College is free, and honor-bound by its mission and goals, to ensure that it respects our country and those who truly served and sacrificed,” Linson said.