“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” is the ad copy that’s causing Nike a lot of problems — even if it’s making Colin Kaepernick a fortune.
In a memo that first became public on social media, the mayor of a Louisiana town said that no booster programs operating at city recreational facilities will be allowed to buy or use Nike gear there, WBRZ-TV reported Saturday.
“Under no circumstances will any Nike product or any product with the Nike logo be purchased or used … at any City of Kenner Recreation Facility,” Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn said in a memo to Parks and Recreation Department Director Chad Pitfield dated Sept. 5.
“The memorandum was circulated on social media, bearing the City of Kenner letterhead and Zahn’s signature,” WBRZ reported.
“The memo says that, effective immediately, any booster club operating at city recreation facilities must have their purchases of athletic equipment, including clothing or shoes, approved by Pitfield.”
While the memo doesn’t mention Kaepernick or the ad campaign by name, given that it was issued two days after the Sept. 3 launch of Nike’s ad campaign featuring Kaepernick, the subtext was fairly clear.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
At least one city councilman objected to the move. Kenner Councilman Gregory Carroll told the New Orleans Advocate he’d spoken to Zahn on Sunday to confirm the memo was real, and said the policy caught him by surprise.
“What is this?” he told The Advocate. “We just had a council meeting Thursday. I didn’t know about this.”
The move by Kenner (population about 67,000, according to the U.S. Census) comes after the College of the Ozarks ended its affiliation with the athletic-wear provider because of the new ad campaign fronted by a man who’s most famous (or infamous) for sparking the NFL’s current controversy over players protesting during the national anthem.
“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America,” college president Jerry Davis said.
“If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them,” he added.
“We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform.”
While most rejections of Nike won’t be this public, there will be plenty of rejections. They’ll just be of a quieter variety.
Most mothers and fathers who don’t buy their children Nike shoes aren’t going to post it on Facebook, but they’ll be out there.
Most schools who decide to change their affiliation with athletic-wear companies won’t make statements like the College of the Ozarks did, but they’ll quietly shift who they get their shoes and uniforms from.
Most of the people who are fighting it out over Nike’s ad campaign aren’t going to be the ones who eventually hurt Nike where it counts. It’s going to be the silent majority.
They’re the ones who’ve already hurt the NFL’s bottom line over the controversy. Now, Nike’s about to feel that same pinch.
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