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Louisiana Mayor Reverses Ban of Nike Sportswear After Backlash

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A Louisiana mayor who banned Nike products for use in city athletic programs, has reversed his decision after receiving considerable backlash over the ban.

Last week, in the wake of the release of Nike’s 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign ad featuring national anthem protest inventor Colin Kaepernick, Ben Zahn, Mayor of Kenner, Louisiana, announced a ban on Nike equipment.

“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,” Mayor Zahn’s memo stated.

Some local Democrats were incensed by the news of the ban and voices rose against the mayor’s announcement. Now, according to the Hill newspaper, Zahn has taken a step back from his ban.

For instance, the mayor’s move was also opposed by Kenner Councilman Gregory Carroll who took to Facebook to criticize the mayor saying, “I am 100% AGAINST this decision. I will meet with the Mayor and other Council members in an effort to rescind this directive.”

But now, Zahn reversed his policy saying only that the story “placed Kenner in a false and unflattering light on the national stage.”

While Zahn initially defended his ban saying that he did not want city tax dollars spent to support Nike’s “political agenda,” the mayor backed down in the face of a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union calling on him to overturn his policy. Still, even as he reversed his ban, Zahn did not apologize for the policy.

Zahn’s policy was also opposed by a petition started by members of the city’s Thomas United Methodist Church calling on Zahn to end the ban.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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