A Louisiana mayor has reportedly banned the purchase of Nike products in response to Nike’s new campaign with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In a leaked email, Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn III told city officials not to purchase or wear any gear which features the Nike checkmark.
As Independent reports, the city’s parks and recreation department director Chad Pitfield was notified of the change in the email and told specifically that none of the budgeted $125,000 for leisure supplies should be spent on Nike products.
Check it out:
“Effective immediately all purchases made by any booster club operating at any Kenner Recreation Facility for wearing apparel, shoes, athletic equipment and/or any athletic product must be approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation, or his designee,” the memorandum from the mayor’s office to Pitfield read.
“Under no circumstances will any Nike product or any product with the Nike logo be purchased or used…at any City of Kenner Recreation Facility,” the memo continued.
— WBRZ News (@WBRZ) September 9, 2018
From the report:
He also insisted booster clubs, parent-run organisations that raise funds for school sports teams, must seek approval from the department before purchasing items from the company if they use public facilities.
Some conservatives called for a boycott of Nike over its decision to feature Kaepernick in advertising due to his protests of the US national anthem before games.
And, from USA Today:
While Zahn refused to comment Monday on the memo, a video of him last week at a festival in Kenner showed him criticize those who choose to not stand for the national anthem.
“I’m going to ask y’all to stand for what’s about to happen. … Because this is not the NFL football players, right?” he said before the anthem was sung, eliciting cheers from the crowd. “This is the city of Kenner. In the city of Kenner we all stand. We’re going to be proud of that.”
The ban is drawing some backlash from city councilmen and others online:
As the Independent reports, in a post on social media, city councilman Gregory Carroll called the memo “disturbing” and said he was entirely against the 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. I am 100% AGAINST this decision,” Carroll said in the statement. He also said he would work to have the mayor “rescind this directive.”
Good Morning to all my Family and Friends of the City of Kenner!Last night a disturbing memorandum was circulated that…
The new campaign deal was initially announced on Labor Day, just one week ago, but has generated tremendous reactions since. The company boasted of the publicity and sales have gone up since the campaign’s inception, but the company’s stocks fell dramatically.
The gamble of using a controversial figure in its advertising appears to have paid off for Nike, which saw its online sales surge by 31 per cent in the days following the campaign launch.