A city government in Rhode Island will buy fewer Nike products because a controversial sporting activist appeared on several ads, promoting the activewear maker.
North Smithfield Town Council in Providence passed a resolution with a 3-2 vote on Monday, Sept. 17, urging departments to refrain from procuring Nike products.
Council President John Beauregard questions Nike’s decision to feature former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign because he believes Kaepernick shows a lack of respect toward police.
Kaepernick has repeatedly made controversial remarks on social media about black men who died while in police custody, and shared a viral video of what appears to be Minnesota shooting victim Philando Castile dying in the driver’s seat of his car. Kaepernick also knelt during the U.S. anthem back in 2016 to protest what he describes as police brutality and social injustice.
Others Local Governments or Agencies Join In
The council is one of several local governments or agencies calling for a boycott on using Nike as a supplier.
The city of Kenner in Louisiana has already banned procurement of all Nike products for use at city recreation facilities, according to a memo from Kenner mayor and Republican Ben Zahn. Booster clubs will also need approval from the parks and recreation director before procuring any athletic product.
In Mississippi, Department of Public Safety chief of staff Mandy Davis said on the weekend that state police would stop procuring Nike products—a move praised by Mississippi Republican, Gov. Phil Bryant.
A Nike spokesman told The Associated Press he could not comment on the various governmental actions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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