Louisiana Mayor Bans Nike Products from City's Rec Facilities After Kaepernick Ad

September 10, 2018 - 11:37 am
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(CBS News) -- A Louisiana mayor has taken a bold step in expressing his opposition to Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign -- he has banned the brand's products from his city's recreation facilities. Kenner Mayor E. Ben Zahn III requested that the city's recreation department ban usage or delivery of all Nike products, a city councilman, Gregory Carroll, wrote on his district's Facebook page.

Carroll, a councilman for Kenner's first district, wrote that he was not made aware of the mayor's decision to ban Nike products and that "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," Carroll wrote. "I will meet with the Mayor and other Council members in an effort to rescind this directive. I will keep the citizens of Kenner, and the Greater New Orleans area informed as we move forward."

The letter from Mayor Zhan to the city's Director of Parks and Recreation Chad Pitfield, was obtained by the New Orleans Advocate. "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 be approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation, or his designee," the letter reads. "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." CBS News has not independently verified the authenticity of the letter. 

A councilman from nearby New Orleans had a similar reaction to Councilman Carroll when heard of the mayor's new directive. "I was in church when I received a copy of the letter from the Mayor of Kenner. I have never felt a need to purchase one of these before but I am compelled now," Councilman Jay H. Banks wrote on Facebook, referring to a Nike t-shirt he purchased. He shared a photo of himself in front of a Nike store, with a newly-purchased Nike apparel. "Thank you NIKE!" he wrote. The two New Orleans-area councilmen are both black.

New Orleans rapper, Dee-1, also weighed in, sharing Mayor Zahn's memo on Twitter. "It disappoints me that this is happening in my state," Dee-1 tweeted. "I would like to have a conversation with him when i return from this European Tour. Not to fuss, just to build."