The Nike controversy just got a little more heated as a Louisiana mayor reportedly banned the purchase or use of Nike equipment for recreational activities in the city of Kenner. Mayor Ben Zahn sent a memo to the Parks and Recreation Department Director, Chad Pitfield, detailing his decision. In it, he said: “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.”
To be clear, this does not mean Nike apparel already purchased will be banned; it only applies to future purchases and use of new equipment.
The directive comes after the hullabaloo surrounding Nike’s newest campaign featuring former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick for the 30th anniversary of “Just Do It.” Although the memo apparently does not mention Kaepernick or the slogan as a reason for the sudden banishment of all things Nike, it doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots.
Kenner city residents will now be forced to gain approval for their active wear before participating in any city ran recreation areas. “Effective immediately,” the memo said, “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.”
It is clear that the mayor is not a fan of Kaepernick and his “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” slogan, and neither are a lot of other people. The NFL player’s bold disrespect to an American tradition by taking a knee during the National Anthem caused chaos around the nation. It brought President Trump out in full force on Twitter and had the country divided and in vigorous debate. Fans everywhere stopped watching their favorite teams as other teammates followed Kaepernick’s taking a knee antic during football games.
But what did Kaepernick really sacrifice to make such a bold statement? His career? Well, we all know he was on the downward slide of that slippery slope, so no, it wasn’t that. His reputation? Maybe, but then he’s made a name for himself and has earned more money than he – or anyone – deserves for disrespecting the game, the flag, and Americans everywhere.
The “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” statement coming from Kaepernick is ludicrous, especially if he is implying he made such a sacrifice. Aside from burning apparel already purchased and boycotting Nike, other methods of showing just how much the campaign has upset Americans is starting to show.
The mayor of Kenner isn’t the only one in a high position to make a bold statement against the Sport Equipment giant and Kaepernick. According to Fox News, the College of the Ozarks, a private Christian college in Missouri, has also announced that its athletic teams will no longer wear Nike apparel. But, unlike Zahn, the school wasn’t shy about its reason; they named the Nike campaign explicitly.
It’s going to be interesting to see if this wave of discontent spreads, and just how far.