Posted: October 11, 2018

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

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

By Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

EL DORADO, Ark. —

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.


Related

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

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.

>> Read more trending news 

Zahn announced Wednesday that he rescinded the order on the advice of the city’s attorney.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.”

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustra

California barber criticized for hanging doll of Colin Kaepernick from noose in shop

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustra

California barber criticized for hanging doll of Colin Kaepernick from noose in shop

Colin Kaepernick sparked controversy in 2016 when he began kneeling in protest during the national anthem before NFL games.
Colin Kaepernick's company files for trademark to former QB's image

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Colin Kaepernick's company files for trademark to former QB's image

Colin Kaepernick’s company, Inked Flash, filed for the trademark to a black-and-white image of the former NFL quarterback’s face and hair, ESPN reported Wednesday.

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Inked Flash filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Friday, but it appeared for the first time on the patent office’s website Wednesday. The company’s intent is to use Kaepernick’s image on items such as shampoo, hairspray, jewelry and even lampshades.

Other items include mugs, plates, bowls, drinking glasses. water bottles, tins, afro picks, brushes and combs, coasters, pillowcases, blankets, towels and handkerchiefs, according to the patent office website.

>> Colin Kaepernick face of Nike’s 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ campaign

The filing also says the image could be used in association with "providing classes, workshops, seminars and camps in the field of self-empowerment and awareness to properly interact with law enforcement"

Kaepernick became the face of Nike's “Just Do It” 30th anniversary campaign last month. He also has been marketing his own merchandise, including jerseys with the slogan #ImwithKap on them.

The decision to use Kaepernick as the face of its brand was a polarizing move for Nike. Some fans said they would shun the product, while others said they were more likely to buy Nike items as a result.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season.

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