COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado -- A Colorado sports apparel store owner is closing up shop months after he vowed to ban Nike items because of the brand's support of Colin Kaepernick.
As KOAA reported on Monday, Stephen Martin, owner of Prime Time Sports, said it became difficult to continue business with Nike making apparel for a lot of pro and college sports teams. The brand has exclusive contracts with the NFL and NBA.
"Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas," he said. "How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys."
Last year, Martin decided to boycott the recognized brand after the company's ad campaign with the out-of-work football player. Before that, he canceled an autograph session at this store with Brandon Marshall because, like Kaepernick, he knelt during the national anthem.
"As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized," Martin told KOAA.
Martin also cited online shopping competition for a declining sales in recent years.
"That part of the military respect that's in me just cannot be sacrificed or compromised, as I believe Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick both did," he said. "I don't like losing a business over it, but I rather be able to live with myself."
Despite the closure and laying off his staff, Martin said he's leaving with dignity.
"I didn't give in to big Nike and big dollars," he said. "I didn't give in. I did it my way."
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Colorado store closing after Colin Kaepernick-related Nike boycott