Louisiana mayor reverses policy banning Nike over Kaepernick campaign
A Louisiana mayor on Wednesday reversed his order banning his city’s Parks and Recreation Department from purchasing Nike products over the company’s ad partnership with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn did not apologize for the policy, but said that it "placed Kenner in a false and unflattering light on the national stage,” according to The Times-Picayune.
The ban, which was in place for just one week, declared that “under no circumstances” should the Parks and Recreation Department purchase Nike gear.
The brand sparked controversy by making Kaepernick the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has become a target of conservatives for being the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality and inspiring others to do the same.
Zahn defended the decision amid national backlash, saying he did not want taxpayer dollars to go to Nike’s “political agenda.”
Zahn’s reversal comes hours after the American Civil Liberties Union called on him to overturn the policy.
A Change.org petition started by members of Kenner’s Thomas United Methodist Church calling for Zahn to reverse the ban also got nearly 1,500 signatures.