Nike ban reversed, mayor backtracks on order for city not to buy brand

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Colin Kaepernick Face of Nike's "Just Do It" Campaign, Sparks Controversy

- A Louisiana mayor has backpedaled on his controversial order to not allow the city’s recreation department to buy Nike products for the city rec facilities.

Ben Zahn, mayor of Kenner, Louisiana, had issued a memo that banned the purchase of Nike equipment after the athletic company started an ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has been at the center of the debate of sports stars who take a knee during the national anthem as protest against police brutality and social injustice, NBC News reported.

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Scott Threlkeld/The Advocate via AP
Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn rescinds his order banning the city’s recreation department from purchasing Nike products for use at city recreation facilities, during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, at Veteran's Park in Kenner, La.
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Nike ban reversed, mayor backtracks on order for city not to buy brand

Scott Threlkeld/The Advocate via AP
Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn rescinds his order banning the city’s recreation department from purchasing Nike products for use at city recreation facilities, during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, at Veteran's Park in Kenner, La.

Zahn announced Wednesday that he rescinded the order on the advice of the city’s attorney. He also hopes to bring the city back together again after the memo “placed Kenner in a false and unflattering light on the national stage,” NOLA.com reported.

Zahn, however, did not apologize for the policy, NOLA.com reported.

Last week, Zahn issued the order that Nike products could not be bought for the city’s recreation facilities and it required that the parks and recreation director approve athletic purchases by booster clubs that used the city facilities.

Kaepernick was not mentioned in the memo.

“We’re pleased the mayor reconsidered his divisive stance and rescinded this unconstitutional policy,” Alanah Odoms Herbert, the executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, told NOLA.com. “The reversal of this ban is good news for the people of Kenner and all Louisianians, who have a constitutional right to express their political views free from government censorship or discrimination.”

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