Rhode Island town council votes to boycott Nike

A town council in Rhode Island reportedly passed a resolution this week requesting all of its departments to stop purchasing Nike products.

The Providence Journal reported that North Smithfield Town Council passed the resolution on a 3-2 vote at a meeting on Monday night after a public comment period. 

{mosads}The resolution, which was submitted by Town Council President John Beauregard, requests that all town departments, including the school department, stop buying apparel from Nike. 

The proposed boycott of Nike products comes just weeks after the company featured former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on its new “Just Do It” campaign.

Kaepernick sparked controversy in 2016 after he became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. 

“This is not about kneeling during the anthem,” Beauregard said, according to the Journal. “This is about the disrespect Kaepernick has shown toward the police. For Nike to sponsor him perpetuates this lie that police are racist, that they are out to keep people of color down.” 

Beauregard, who was a state police trooper for 25 years, added that “over 100 cops were killed in the line of duty last year” and that “they are the ones who have sacrificed everything.”

“Colin lives a millionaire’s lifestyle,” he claimed. 

The American Civil Liberties Union opposed the boycott, writing that the “resolution would display a tremendous insensitivity to the demonstrable racial inequality in our society that Kaepernick’s protest sought to highlight,” the Journal reported.

The town council in North Smithfield is the latest government agency to take a stand against Nike in light of its partnership with Kaepernick. Last week, Mississippi’s public safety commissioner said that the Department of Public Safety would no longer buy products from Nike. 

“As commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, I will not support vendors who do not support law enforcement and our military,” Commissioner Marshall Fisher told The Associated Press.

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