The College of the Ozarks (not related to the Jason Bateman Netflix series), a small Christian college in Missouri, has announced that its students will no longer wear Nike athletic uniforms due to the company’s Colin Kaepernick endorsement.
Following the announcement, the women’s volleyball team was the first to team to play a game, wearing gray T-shirts instead of their Nike uniforms.
The private Christian college announced in a press release that student-athletes will no longer wear the brand in response to the company’s 30th-anniversary ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis said in a news release. “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.”
The College of the Ozarks is one of the most conservative colleges in the country, so the decision isn’t all that surprising.
In 2017, the school introduced a mandatory “patriotism” class for incoming freshman. The course, called Patriotic Education and Fitness, teaches students about topics including flag protocols, military customs, and U.S. politics.
Similarly, The Wall Street Journal has called the university “Hard Work U” due to their unique work-study program.
Much of the College of the Ozark’s curriculum is based on character building, an honor code, and convocations and chapel attendance.