Mayor Bans All Nike Products From City Rec Facilities

Mayor Ben Zahn sent the head of his rec department a memo that banned buying or receiving Nike products.

Kenner, LA The mayor of one Louisiana city has announced that the city recreation department, and any booster clubs that operate at its facilities, would no longer be purchasing or accepting delivery of any Nike products.

"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," read the Sept. 5 edict issued to Recreation Director Chad Pitfield by Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn.

Effective immediately, all purchases of clothing, shoes, athletic equipment or any other athletic equipment by booster clubs operating at city recreation facilities must be approved by Pitfield or his designee, the memo said, according to The Times-Picayune.

The memo, which was issued on the Republican mayors letterhead and featured Zahns signature, did not mention the controversial Nike ad campaign praising former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick for sacrificing everything, which likely was the impetus for the ban, The Times-Picayune reported.

Kaepernick kicked off the massive controversy surrounding the National Anthem by kneeling to protest police brutality and racial injustice at a San Francisco 49ers exhibition game in 2016, during his last season actively playing in the NFL.

After the season, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers and became a free agent. He hasnt signed with another team and has sued the NFL owners for allegedly blackballing him from the football league.

The Kenner mayors opinion on kneeling is not a new one, nor has he hidden it from voters in the past. His support for the National Anthem has been outspoken and very public.

At the Kenner Freedom Fest on Sept. 2, just a few days before Kaepernick announced the new Nike ad on his social media, Zahn kicked off events on the stage by asking everyone in the audience to stand for the National Anthem.

In front of a crowd of cheering community members, the mayor said he was going to ask the crowd to do something which we all are very proud of. With all the things going on throughout this country right now with people not standing, Im gonna ask you all to stand for whats about to happen.

Shes gonna come out and do our National Anthem because this is not the NFL football players, right? This is the city of Kenner. And in the city of Kenner, we all stand. Were going to be proud of that, Zahn said.

In the video of his remarks, the crowd replied with cheering and applause when Zahn condemned the NFL players actions.

Despite obvious support from part of the community, there was blowback from his decision from others.

"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. I am 100% AGAINST this decision. I will meet with the Mayor and other Council members in an effort to rescind this directive," City Councilman Gregory Carroll posted on his official Facebook page on Sunday.

Show your support for real heroes who sacrifice everything with a blue line Believe In Something shirt.

The president of the Kenner booster club also strongly disagreed with the memo, and expressed his opinion to the media.

If it have a Nike logo on it or anything affiliated with Nike, theyre going to not approve it because it has a Nike logo on it, Owen Rey explained to WWL-TV. My opinion on it is that it shouldnt be that way.

"If we have something that we feel that we want that's going to benefit our kids, it shouldn't matter what logo, what brand - as long as it helps the kids and what we're trying to accomplish at the park," Rey said.

Comments (31)
View Older Messages

It's not like Nike is the only manufacturer of athletic goods - like it would like us to believe. There are other shoes, balls, clothing, etc ... , made by other (sometimes smaller) companies. It may even cost less to purchase from these companies and it might even be made in the USA!


Good for him!!!!!


Please pass around......."I returned a pair of Nike shoes in Clearwater, Florida today. The clerk asked me what was wrong with them....I said they hurt my feet when I stand up for The National Anthem".


Thank You!!!!!!!! If I was moving from the Pacific NW this would be a town I would consider moving to.

Please stand strong, pun intended.


OK Nike I got your back I'll pick up the tab where the city left off, whats the damage? I make plenty money with my computer business. I just started selling the Commodore 64 - should make a bunch this quarter.


Hardtopost -"Lol. Only racists get so freaked out about being called racist. I really don't understand it."

That's an understatement. To explain - You can call anyone anything but if you fail to justify your reasoning for doing so you become a toy store doll with a pull string repeating the same prerecorded message. If you cannot justify your accusation then no one listens and you become irrelevant. I hope that helps gain a better understanding.