The mayor of a Louisiana town has banned Nike products from city recreation facilities, days after the sports apparel company hired former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for its new advertising campaign.

Kenner Mayor E. Ben Zahn III’s order, dated Wednesday, also demands that purchases made by sports booster clubs for “apparel, shoes, athletic equipment and/or any athletic product” for use at city recreation facilities be approved by the city.

“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,” the mayor wrote.

Zahn did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. Bob Ross, a spokesman for the mayor, confirmed the memo’s authenticity to HuffPost, and said Zahn intended to release a statement later Monday.

The mayor issued the memo in the wake of Nike’s announcement that Kaepernick would be the face of its 30th anniversary “Just do it” advertising campaign. Kaepernick sparked a wave of protests by NFL players in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.


It disappoints me that this is happening in my state. The Mayor of Kenner is trying to ban all Nike apparel and equipment from children’s sports and playgrounds. I would like to have a conversation with him when i return from this European Tour. Not to fuss, just to build.




Nike’s online sales jumped double digits since the campaign was announced.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Kenner City Councilman Gregory Carroll described the mayor’s memo as “disturbing” and said he was “100% AGAINST this decision.”


“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,” Carroll said. “I will meet with the Mayor and other Council members in an effort to rescind this directive.”

The mayor “just got caught up in all this stuff and made a move off the cuff,” Carroll added to BuzzFeed.

Jay Banks, a city council member from neighboring New Orleans, posted a picture of himself on Facebook holding a Nike shirt.


“I was in church when I received a copy of the letter from the Mayor of Kenner,” Banks wrote. “I have never felt a need to purchase one of these before but I am compelled now.”

Hayley Miller contributed reporting.

This article has been updated to include comments from Zahn’s spokesman.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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