A city in Louisiana has banned its parks and recreation department from purchasing Nike equipment after the sportswear giant launched a new ad campaign featuring controversial ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Local government staff in Kenner, Louisiana, were told of new rules last week, introduced in a direct response to the brand’s use of the former NFL star in commercials.
In a memo sent to the Kenner’s parks and recreation director, Mayor Ben Zahn banned all of the city’s $125,000 leisure supplies budget from being spent on Nike products.
“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,”
the mayor added in the memo.
The Keller mayor’s decision to ban Nike products being bought by the city does not appear to have universal support among local politicians.
City councilman, Gregory Carroll, described Mr Zahn’s memo as “disturbing”, adding he would work to oppose it.
“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,” Mr Carroll said in a statement on Facebook.
Nike first released billboard adverts featuring Kaepernick on Labor Day, which were emblazoned the slogan: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
A television commercial followed several days later, with the player prominently placed alongside other athletes including Serena Williams and LeBron James.