A Colorado sports store owner who refused to sell Nike gear after the company announced a partnership with Colin Kaepernick says his store is going out of business, reports KOAA.
After more than 20 years in business, Prime Time Sports Owner Stephen Martin says he can’t afford his monthly lease anymore at Chapel Hills Mall.
“I just can’t keep the doors open anymore,” said Martin, telling News5 he made the decision to close for good on Sunday night.
Last fall, Martin decided to get rid of all Nike merchandise in his store after the company endorsed Colin Kaepernick for an ad campaign.
“Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas. How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys,” Martin said.
Martin says he’s the only full service, licensed fan shop between Castle Rock and the New Mexico border. Despite having all 32 NFL team’s apparel in his store, he doesn’t have any current players’ jerseys–because of his decision to drop all Nike apparel.
He also canceled an autograph session with Brandon Marshall at his store back in 2016, to protest Marshall’s decision to kneel during the anthem.
“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” said Martin.
Martin says he will keep his store open until there’s nothing left, but says he’ll be leaving with his dignity.
“I didn’t give in to big Nike and big dollars. I didn’t give in. I did it my way,” he said.
“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. I don’t like losing a business over it, but I rather be able to live with myself,” he added.
Martin estimates the store will close in about a month and is currently working with his staff to help them find other jobs.
“That’s definitely what brought us in for sure,” said Melissa Hansen, who came in to buy a Broncos hat after seeing a store-wide 40% off sign.