The mayor of a New Orleans suburb is banning the city's parks and recreation department from purchasing Nike products, the AP reports. The memo by Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn to the parks and recreation director says Nike products cannot be purchased for use at the city's recreation facilities. It also requires the director to approve all athletic purchases by booster clubs using their facilities. The memo created a firestorm when it circulated over the weekend.
The memo doesn't reference Nike's ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who was seeking to draw attention to racial injustice when he started kneeling during the national anthem. In a statement Monday, Zahn didn't mention Kaepernick but said Nike was promoting a "political message" to sell shoes. He said he was protecting "taxpayer dollars from being used in a political campaign." (A Missouri college dumped its Nike uniforms to protest the ad.)