Small College Stands Tall
The College of the Ozarks Stands up to Nike, the NFL and Colin Kaepernick.
College of the Ozarks is a Private Christian College in Missouri that competes athletically in the NAIA Conference, announced Wednesday that its athletic teams would no longer wear apparel manufactured by Nike after the sportswear giant tapped Colin Kaepernick as one of the faces of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
College President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement that Nike’s choice of Kaepernick was “promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America. If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them.” Davis also said, “We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform.”
Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, said that “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.”
The College competes in six sports — baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, track and volleyball.
Last year, the college added a stipulation to competition contracts, saying it would walk away from any game where the opposing team took a knee, sat or turned its back on the flag or anthem.
Over the weekend, Nike announced a multiyear agreement with Kaepernick including his own apparel line, video ads and billboards featuring his image, and a contribution to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s Know Your Rights charity.
A two-minute commercial narrated by and featuring Kaepernick was released Wednesday and is expected to air during college football and Major League Baseball games this weekend, as well as during the NFL season opener between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons.
The College requires all freshmen to take a course, “Patriotic Education and Fitness,” which includes the formation of American government and politics.
The College relies heavily on charitable support to meet its annual budget. College of the Ozarks does not charge tuition and relies on contributions and earnings from endowment. Annual support from benefactors keep the college open allowing students the opportunity to earn their college education. Full time students work 15 hours per week to cover a portion of their education with the remainder coming from grants and scholarships which are made possible through donations.
In my opinion “All” Private Christian Colleges should follow College of the Ozarks Patriotic example of standing up for our Nation, our Flag and our Anthem.