Big Dog Ranch Rescue president takes stance against Nike over its Kaepernick support

Posted at 4:13 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 05:56:36-04

The president of Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Loxahatchee is the latest to boycott Nike over its support of Colin Kaepernick.

Initially, reports surfaced that Big Dog Ranch Rescue president Lauree Simmons banned employees and volunteers from wearing the brand at the shelter. Now Simmons says she wants to clear the air saying she doesn't support Nike, but her employees are free to wear the brand.

"I never told anybody it was mandatory, no one was ever going to get fired," Simmons said. "I can't speak for anyone else but myself, but it was my personal opinion that we should support our country our American flag, our anthem out of respect for the people that fight for us every day."

This comes after Nike made Colin Kaepernick the face of their 30th anniversary "Believe in Something" campaign. Kaepernick along with other football players have taken a knee during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality.

"I asked our employees. It was not mandatory, anybody that wants to give me their Nike shoes I will personally out of my own money, not Big Dog Ranch, buy you a new pair of shoes and stand with our veterans," she said.

According to their most recent financial filing in 2016 Big Dog Ranch Rescue had annual revenues of $3.6 million with about $2.5 million coming from donations.

WPTV asked Simmons if she was worried taking a controversial stance could impact donations. She responded saying she hoped it would not.

WPTV also spoke with the owner of a West Palm Beach PR company to get her take on the Nike ad campaign.

"They took the risk they gambled and they won," Carey O'Donnell said.

She says Nike's choice to highlight Kaepernick was well thought out and could become a trend.

"Advertisers are more open than ever before to capitalizing on controversial political or civic issues even though it is a dangerous game," she said.

Simmons said she has not had any employees or volunteers resign since coming out with her stance.