WEST JORDAN (News4Utah) – Nike’s announcement of an endorsement deal with controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick resulted in some people burning their Nike shoes and others calling for a boycott of the company.
On Tuesday, News4Utah went to the Nike Factory store in Jordan Landing to see what Utahns had to say about the boycott.
“Don’t do it. Follow Colin,” shopper Jason Lowther said.
“I think that he’s doing a great job to stand up for himself to get all the opposition he’s gotten,” Roni Rowe said. “I just support him 100 percent.”
“That’s actually why I’m here. I have gym shorts,” Leroy Lavea said. “I am supporting Nike.”
The Utah Jazz, Utah State Aggies and BYU Cougars all have Nike sponsorships and even wear the Swoosh on their uniforms. Former BYU linebacker Derik Stevenson played in Nike gear and still wears it today. He says we need to remember that Kaepernick was protesting police brutality not the flag, the military or veterans.
“I think this is the wrong way to protest it but I respect his right to do it,” Stevenson told News4Utah. “And don’t tell me not to buy Nike shoes because I’m an American and I’m going to vote with my dollars.”
One local fan tweeted that BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe needs to reconsider Nike sponsorships because the Colin Kaepernick ad is “not consistent with the patriotic ideals of the BYU fan base.”
“I don’t see why people are going to get on Twitter and calling for Tom Holmoe or Kalani Sitake to drop their Nike deal just because of one ad campaign that’s out there,” Stevenson said. “I think Donald Trump’s a jackass and I think Colin Kaepernick’s a jackass but I don’t let either of those guys determine what sort of shoes I’m going to buy and whether BYU should keep their Nike deal or not. I just think it’s stupid. Let’s stop politicizing everything. I mean it’s football. Let’s have fun.”
Also on Tuesday the National Association of Police Organizations called on its members and their families to boycott Nike.
Nike shares dropped more than 3% in Tuesday’s trading on Wall Street.