Arkansas sheriff's office forces inmates to wear Nike shirts for their mugshots to mock Kaepernick
The Sheriff's department's action came to light after an activist first observed the repetition of Nike clothes in the mugshots taken by the Union County Sheriff's Office
An Arkansas Sheriff's department is facing backlash for forcing inmates to wear Nike's shirts in their mugshots in an attempt to mock National Football league quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The action is seen as an apparent jab at Nike, that recently made a deal with the football star by featuring him in their latest Just Do It campaign.
The Sheriff's department's action came to light after an activist first observed the repetition of Nike clothes in the mugshots taken by the Union County Sheriff's Office, according to reports.
Shortly after noticing the pattern, activist and columnist, Shaun King, posted at least 12 pictures of inmates wearing Nike shirts on Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday. The activist in his posts on social media sites said that Sheriff Ricky Roberts was "putting Nike t-shirts on people they arrest and making them wear them during mugshots. Source says it is to mock Nike and Colin Kaepernick. Disgusting."
Reports state that within an hour of King's post, the sheriff's office took down all the mugshots taken in Nike gear.
According to the jail's roster, the 'NIKE ATHLETICS' short in all the mugshots from the department started appearing online around September 15. However, some of the pictures reportedly also appeared in July, which predated Kaepernick's controversial deal with Nike.
Reports state that before the pictures were taken down, mugshots of at least 11 of the 182 inmates were posted in the Nike gear to the Union County Sheriff's site.
Several Twitter users destroyed their Nike merchandise last month in protest, after the sports brand included the quarterback in its new Just Do It campaign. Nike, however, said that they included the sportsman because they believe he is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation. Kaepernick was the first National Football League (NFL) player to take a knee during the national anthem as a protest against racism and police brutality.
Kaepernick began his protest two years ago when he was with the San Francisco 49ers at the time and stirred a national controversy. He had done so in an effort to protest rampant police brutality in the country. Other players took his cue and joined the protest in the 2016 season, and other players have continued the protest till now. Kaepernick's movement drew heavy criticism from President Donald Trump, who even called for the owners of the NFL teams to fire the players who were participating in it.