Liberty University could be the next Christian college to drop Nike over the athletic brand’s latest ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In a statement to USA Today, university president Jerry Falwell, Jr., said he is now considering cutting ties with the apparel brand “if Nike really does believe that law enforcement in this country is unfair and biased.”
“If we have a contract, we’ll honor it,” he continued, “but we strongly support law enforcement and strongly support our military and veterans who died to protect our freedoms and if the company really believes what Colin Kaepernick believes, it’s going to be hard for us to keep doing business with them.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 5, 2018
In the two-minute ad, Kaepernick narrates a series of acts of athletic heroism across the country.
The video ends with the former NFL player, who was the first athlete to take a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness about racial injustice and has worn socks depicting police officers as pigs, saying, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Falwell told The News & Advance he plans to talk with Liberty’s legal department to determine whether the university could negotiate its way out of the contract with Nike, which was signed in 2014, though he admitted the school might be stuck with the Oregon-based company.
“If they are just trying to make money off the attention that former quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been receiving,” Falwell said, ‘then we understand that that’s just marketing and we’ll probably overlook it.”
Falwell’s consideration comes just days after the College of the Ozarks, based in Lookout Point, Missouri, ended its contract with Nike because the brand “is ashamed of America,” according to the school’s president, Jerry C. Davis.