Mayor of Louisiana City Bans Nike Purchases for Its Recreational Programs

Colin Kaepernick appears in Nike's most recent ad campaign.
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The mayor of a Louisiana city has banned its recreation department and booster clubs from purchasing or accepting Nike goods that feature the company’s signature logo.

“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,” Ben Zahn, the mayor of Kenner, said Wednesday in a memo to Recreation Director Chad Pitfield.

The memo noted that, effective immediately, all purchases made by booster clubs at city recreation facilities relating to shoes, clothing or other athletic equipment must be approved by Pitfield or his designee. 

The memo, which was not made public but has circulated widely on social media, follows the launch of Nike's "Dream Crazy" campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The memo makes made no mention of the initiative.

Kaepernick protested against racial inequality by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before football games. His stance was both lambasted and commended by fans, as has Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick in its ads. 

Zahn’s memo was released the same day Kaepernick shared his full-length Nike ad.

A video taken last week at a festival in Kenner showed Zahn criticizing those who choose to not stand for the national anthem. 

"I'm going to ask y'all to stand for what's about to happen ... because this is not the NFL football players, right?" he said to cheers before the anthem was played. "This is the city of Kenner. In the city of Kenner, we all stand. We're going to be proud of that."

Many have criticized Zahn’s decree, including Kenner Councilman Gregory Carroll, who called the memo “disturbing.”

"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,” he said in a statement.

Carroll said he was “100 percent against” the decision, noting he planned to meet with the mayor and fellow council members “in an effort to rescind this directive."

Zahn will issue a statement on the memo on Monday, Kenner spokesman Bob Ross told InsideEdition.com. 

After releasing its ad featuring Kaepernick, Nike's online sales reflected a 31 percent increase. 

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