The Kaepernick Crisis: Mayor of Louisiana town bans Nike products from recreational facilities in latest controversial twist
A Louisiana town's mayor has reportedly banned all Nike products from the city's reacreational facilities. The decision was taken by Kenner Mayor E Ben Zahn III just days after the sports brand featured National Football League (NFL) quaterback Colin Kaepernick in its in its latest 'Just Do It' advertisement campaign.
Several Twitter users destroyed their Nike merchandise earlier this week in protest after Nike included the quarterback in its new campaign noting him as one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to take a knee during the National Anthem as a protest against racism and police brutality.
Mayor E Ben Zahn III reportedly issued an order on Wednesday demanding that purchases made by sports booster clubs for “apparel, shoes, athletic equipment and/or any athletic product” for use at city recreation facilities be approved by the city."
The mayor, in a memo, wrote: "Under no circumstances will any Nike product or any product with the Nike logo be purchased for use or delivery at any City of Kenner Recreation facility."
It disappoints me that this is happening in my state. The Mayor of Kenner is trying to ban all Nike apparel and equipment from children’s sports and playgrounds. I would like to have a conversation with him when i return from this European Tour. Not to fuss, just to build. pic.twitter.com/gRCoCN3nQP— Dee-1; IG @dee1music (@Dee1music) September 9, 2018
Kenner City Councilman Gregory Carroll, in a Facebook post on Sunday, denounced the mayor's decision and called his memo "disturning" and added that he was "100% AGAINST this decision."
"I was not made aware of this decision beforehand and it is in direct contradiction of what I stand for and what the City of Kenner should stand for,” Carroll said. “I will meet with the Mayor and other Council members in an effort to rescind this directive," Carroll said.
A city council member from neighboring New Orleans, Jay Banks, meanwhile posted a picture of himself on Facebook holding a Nike shirt.
Banks, in the post, wrote: "I was in church when I received a copy of the letter from the Mayor of Kenner,” Banks wrote. “I have never felt a need to purchase one of these before but I am compelled now.”
Kaepernick began his protest two years ago when he was with the San Francisco 49ers 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, continuing to gain support till now. Kaepernick's movement drew heavy criticism from President Donald Trump, who even called on owners of NFL teams to fire players who were participating in the protest.
President Trump recently also attacked Nike after the advertisement and falsely claimed that the sports brand was "getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts." Recent reports state that Nike's online sales have increased by double digits ever since the campaign featuring Kaepernick was announced.