Arkansas sheriff putting inmates in Nike shirts for booking photos, activists say

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

- An Arkansas sheriff denies allegations that he is dressing inmates in Nike T-shirts for booking photos in a protest against the company for its use of Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. 

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"We are not, and will not, be influenced by current political and social debates in the media," Union County Sheriff Ricky Roberts said in a statement, KLRT reported. "This shirt is not only in use now, but has also been for several months prior. We have taken steps to rectify this issue and ensure that this will never happen again."

Inmates began appearing in the Nike apparel around Sept. 15, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. 

Nike announced Sept. 4 that Kaepernick was the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick has drawn controversy since he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to draw attention to racial inequality.

Activist Shaun King posted a photo Wednesday of 12 inmates wearing a black Nike T-shirt.

“(Roberts) is putting Nike T-shirts on people they arrest and making them wear them during mugshots,” King wrote on Twitter. “Disgusting.” 
In response, the sheriff removed all booking images from the website about an hour later, the Democrat-Gazette reported. Before the images were removed, 20 of 193 inmates were pictured in the shirt.

Roberts told KLRT the shirts were given to people without proper attire or if they were wearing a work uniform.

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Colin Kaepernick sparked controversy in 2016 when he began kneeling in protest during the national anthem before NFL games.

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