Mayor Gives into Protests and Walks Back on His Promise for a City-Wide Nike Ban at Recreation Facilities

The mayor of a New Orleans suburb is walking back on his order to ban the city’s recreation facilities from purchasing Nike products after the town was viewed in a “false and unflattering light.”

Carlo Allegri/Reuters

When Nike came out with their “Just Do It” campaign featuring the former 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick, Kenner, Louisiana Mayor Ben Zahn ordered a Nike ban.

He issued to have Nike products banned from being purchased at his city’s recreation facilities and required approval for athletic purchases by booster clubs using the city’s facilities.

The day after Zahn’s memo was leaked, he issued a statement:

The mayor received push back from protesters and criticism on both local and national levels.

On Wednesday, Zahn said at a news conference that he received advice from the city attorney to reverse his Nike order, NBC News reported.

“That memorandum divided our city and placed Kenner in a false and unflattering light on the national stage,” Zahn said.

While Zahn never directly used Kaepernick’s name, he said the company was promoting a “political message” to sell their athletic wear.

Colin Kaepernick Eric Reid
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

According to NBC, Monday evening hundreds of people rallied against Zahn’s Nike orders — Including New Orleans Saints players Cameron Jordan, Terron Armstead, and Craig Robertson.

“My patriotism will not waiver,” Zahn said at the news conference Wednesday. “But my focus needs to be on the city of Kenner and the many great projects we have in store for our city.”

Watch the video below:

The controversy surrounding Kaepernick started in 2016 when the former NFL player protested against police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem.

Since, it has been a hot topic, especially when Nike made him one of the faces of their campaign.

The mayor of Kenner wasn’t the only one seriously reconsidering their relationship with Nike.

Some universities have since chosen, or are considering, to opt-out of the Nike brand, including the College of the Ozarks, Truett McConnell University, and Liberty University.

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