Conservatives have been revolting against Nike this week, after the sportswear company made former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick the star of their 30th anniversary ‘Just Do it’ campaign.
Republican’s began turning their backs on the football player in 2016, when he started to take a knee during the pre-game national anthem to protest racial inequality in the USA. He’s since had trouble signing to a new team, but using Kaepernick in their ads hasn’t negatively impacted Nike’s sales. In fact, they’ve risen by 31% since the ad was released, defying the conservative backlash.
Still, the mayor of Kenner City, Louisiana, is opting to ditch the brand, and is using his position to stop others from buying Nike products too.
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
On 5th September, E. Ben Zahn III sent a memo to the Park and Recreation Department Director Chad Pitfield, in which he stated that “under no circumstances” should Nike products, or any item with the Nike logo, be purchased by the department.
It also said that any booster club running at a Kenner venue must have their purchases approved by Pitfield, including clothes, shoes, and other athletic items.
The email, which has since gone viral, was sent two days after the Kaepernick campaign’s big reveal. Although the note doesn’t mention the sports star by name, the timing is too perfect for it to be a coincidence.
The full message reads:
“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 approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation, or his designee.
“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.”
Since the new Just Do it campaign went live, #BoyCottNike has been trending on Twitter, with some people going so far as to burn their own Nike products in protest.
Donald Trump has also spoken out against the company. On Twitter, he predicted that Nike would get “absolutely killed by angry rants and boycotts.
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
He also told reporters: “I don’t like what Nike did, I don’t think it’s appropriate what they did.
“I honor the flag, I honor our national anthem. And most of the people in this country feel the same way.”
Well, Nike’s sales seem to suggest otherwise, Donald…