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Liberty University considering new jersey sponsor after Nike ad

(Liberty University)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - Liberty University says it's considering looking for a new jersey sponsor.

President Jerry Falwell Jr. says the school wants to find a supplier that supports veterans, the U.S. flag, American values and law enforcement.

Nike currently sponsors Liberty's jerseys, apparel, and equipment.

Nike announced this week that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the face of an advertising campaign marking the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan. One of the ads shows Kaepernick's face and says: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

Kaepernick already had a deal with Nike that was set to expire, but it was renegotiated into a multiyear deal.

Nike will feature Kaepernick on several platforms, including billboards, television commercials and online ads.

Nike will also create an apparel line for Kaepernick and contribute to his Know Your Rights charity.

The former quarterback sparked controversy in the U.S. in 2016 when he became the first football player to kneel during the national anthem before games, as a protest against racial injustice and police brutality. He has not played for the NFL since early 2017 and is currently suing the organization for allegedly freezing him out because of his political activism.

The NFL and Nike extended their partnership in March to run through 2028.

Nike provides all NFL teams with game-day uniforms and sideline apparel that bears the swoosh logo, as well as many college teams like Liberty University.

Falwell said they are exploring the situation and that if Nike believes law enforcement is unfair and biased, they will look around -- but will honor any contract that is in tact.

According to Liberty's website, the contract was extended to 2024 in 2017 for Nike to provide apparel and equipment for all 20 of the university's athletic programs.

Falwell also said that if it's a publicity stunt, that's different and he understands how marketing works, but he wants Nike to convince him that it is not proactively attacking law enforcement officers and the military.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Nike's use of Kaepernick sends a "terrible message," but the company may have reasons for doing it.

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