Two organizations have decided to ban their employee from using Nike products in an attempt to prove their patriotism. The Texas Farm Bureau and Mississippi Department of Public Safety have stopped their employees from wearing anything made by the sportswear company to show their love for the flag, the troops the anthem and everything American – except, the First Amendment of the Constitution.
There’s just one problem; none of their employees wore Nike anyway.
So if these organizations wanted to decrease the profits of the sportswear company, that’s not happening.
Nike was applauded by many after they featured Colin Kaepernick for their latest campaign. The sportswear company had chosen Kaepernick to be the face of its “Just Do It” campaign on its 30th anniversary, and the ad was revealed just four days ahead of the new NFL season. Soon after the campaign’s launch, Nike’s sales went up by almost 31 percent.
The former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback created a firestorm in activism after he started kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at the start of NFL matches to protest police brutality and racial inequality against African Americans.
Within no time, dozens of players followed suit and turned Kaepernick’s protest into a movement symbolizing the racial divide in America.
But now, these two organizations have decided to stop using Nike to show their love for the country. The kind of love which apparently, doesn’t include any kindness towards the African-American community.
Texas Farm Bureau is an organization representing “the interests of agricultural producers and rural communities.” The non-profit informed its employees that they could no longer wear Nikes to work, because they were upset that Nike featured Kaepernick as the face of its 30th Anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign.
“There is a wide range of viewpoints on the Nike controversy. Texas Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies employees are asked to not wear Nike branded apparel while representing the companies. We are choosing to remove our companies from this controversy by discontinuing the use of Nike branded apparel for business purposes. The attire you choose on your own time is a personal matter,” the company emailed its workers.
Turns out, none of the employees wore Nike anyway.
On the other hand, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety commissioner Marshall Fisher said in a statement to the Associated Press, that the agency which oversees the Highway Patrol, Bureau of Narcotics, Bureau of Investigation, Office of Homeland Security, the state crime lab and the state medical examiner, would no longer purchase goods from Nike.
“As commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, I will not support vendors who do not support law enforcement and our military,” Fisher wrote in the statement.
According to a spokesman, the department bought some shirts, shoes and tactical uniforms from Nike in the past. But an Associated Press search of the database that documents state purchases revealed that no Nike products were brought by people from the state of Mississippi in the past fiscal year.
Earlier, a Republican mayor from Louisiana, Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn, drew severe criticism after a memorandum, which apparently bore his signature, surfaced online banning booster clubs at recreational facilities across the city from purchasing Nike products.
Suffice to say that none of this will impact Nike or Kaepernick’s movement adversely. These companies and people in power banning employers to buy a product owned by a brand that doesn’t believe in their political rhetoric is cringe worthy and an autocratic form of management to say the least.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Getty Images, Spencer Platt