It's politics as usual for USA Track and Field team member Nick Symmonds, whose refusal to sign a mandatory contract that would require him to wear Nike may have put his running career in jeopardy.
Symmonds, the defending 800 m world runner-up, is currently sponsored by Brooks, but that's only the beginning of his frustrations. According to Symmonds, Nike's dominance over the world of track and field is nothing short of corrupt, and this is his way of making a statement.
"We have to wear Team USA kit at all official Team USA functions, which is fine. I'm fine with it. The problem is, they never define what a Team USA function is. They do that almost on purpose so they can call anything a Team USA function," Symmonds told New York Post.
So instead of complying, Symmonds refused to sign the contract altogether. This morning, the official team roster was announced, and his name was noticeably absent. But for Symmonds, it's bigger than himself.
"I just feel that I can’t go out there and put on that Team USA jersey and feel good about it, while all the athletes are being mercilessly bullied and threatened by USATF at the same time," Symmonds said.