Kenner Mayor Rescinds Nike Ban After Pushback From ACLU, Local Church

Sep 12, 2018

Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn rescinded his ban on Nike products Wednesday afternoon. Last week, Zahn told the city’s Parks and Recreation department and booster clubs to stop buying from the company after Nike launched an ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who started a movement of player protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Mayor Zahn said he didn't want to use taxpayer dollars to support what he calls a political agenda.

"When a company uses its advertising as its own political megaphone, government should be fair to all of its people and not allow taxpayer dollars to be used to help that company push its own political agenda," Zahn wrote in a statement Tuesday.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Zahn said he had rescinded his memorandum regarding the ban on the advice of the city attorney. Zahn changed his mind after facing criticism from the ACLU and a petition from members of a historic black church. WWNO’s Jess Clark spoke with Kaseem Short, pastor of Thomas United Methodist Church, which started the petition.

The church says they will continue to engage with Zahn and city council members on issues of racial inequality.