Since Nike unveiled Colin Kaepernick as the focus of their new ad campaign, a Christian school in the Ozarks has banned their apparel from official sports use, stock prices for the company have plummeted, and now, the company has even been banned from an entire TOWN. That’s right, the mayor of Kenner, Louisiana sent out a memo last week to all playground booster clubs informing them that Nike was no longer welcome at the city’s recreation centers.
“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,” wrote Mayor Ben Zahn in a memo leaked to the media.
Zahn is scheduled to release a more complete statement on his stance soon, but until then, there are his remarks at a Kenner festival last week that leave little doubt about how he feels regarding the Kaepernick situation.
“I’m going to ask y’all to stand for what’s about to happen,” Zahn said before the anthem was set to play. “Because this is not the NFL football players, right? This is the city of Kenner. In the city of Kenner, we all stand. We’re going to be proud of that.”
Honestly, the worst part of all this is not that Nike chose to dive headfirst into the left wing of the pool. It’s that they felt the need to get political at all. Can’t we just have some things in this country that don’t have anything to do with politics? Why do we have to think about ideology when we buy a damn pair of shoes? It’s just incomprehensible why Nike would need to do this. Yeah, it’s got more people talking about their brand…for a while. But is the backlash really worth it?
Frankly, it’s annoying when corporations try to be your buddy on Twitter or your friend on Facebook, and this is just an extension of that. No one needs to know where “Nike” stands on the political issues facing America. Just make your damn apparel and be done with it.
If the backlash facing Nike really tanks their sales, we will be grateful. Not (just) because we disagree vehemently with the message they’re sending but because it might be a signal to other companies that Americans don’t need their shoes, soap, coffee, window blinds, dog food, and picture frames to come with eight metric tons of political baggage. It’s bad enough that this crap has infected our football; why don’t we just leave it at that?