Falwell Jr. Mulls Cutting Liberty University Ties With Nike Over Kaepernick Ad

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the Christian conservative Liberty University, said he is considering cutting the institution's ties to Nike after the sportswear giant launched an advertising campaign lauding NFL "kneel" protester Colin Kaepernick.

The school's partnership with Nike has been criticised by conservatives following the launch of the campaign, with the company contracted to provide sportswear for the school's athletic trams until 2024.

Some conservatives have burned Nike sportwear gear in videos posted on social media in response to the ad.

Nike's campaign for the 30th anniversary of its Just Do It campaign features Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers player, who led a wave of protests against police brutality and racism which have swept the NFL when he knelt during the national anthem ahead of a game.

President Donald Trump has accused players taking part in the protest of disrespecting the anthem, and called for them to be sacked.

"We're exploring the situation," Trump supporter Falwell told USA Today. "If Nike really does believe that law enforcement in this country is unfair and biased, I think we will look around. If we have a contract, we'll honor it, but we strongly support law enforcement and strongly support our military and veterans who died to protect our freedoms and if the company really believes what Colin Kaepernick believes, it's going to be hard for us to keep doing business with them."

He told the publication that if he decides the company is "not proactively attacking law enforcement officers and our military," the partnership will continue.

And it seems that Liberty University is not the only educational establishment where the ads have provoked anger, with Missouri's College of the Ozarks, a private christian institution, announcing Friday that it was removing Nike sportwear from its athletics teams and choosing "country over company."

Losing the partnerships may be unlikely to financially concern Nike too much though, with the Edison Trends reporting that the ads had already generated a 27 percent online sales increase for Nike since Wednesday.

Trump had in a tweet claimed the company was "getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts" because of the ad.