NO.kenner.063018.009

Kenner Mayor E. 'Ben' Zahn III speaks during an inaugural ceremony at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, La. Friday, June 29, 2018.

In the heavyweight division of histrionic statements, the city of Kenner vs. Nike is not a major league bout.

The memo from Mayor Ben Zahn banning booster clubs at Kenner recreational facilities from buying Nike products most likely has done the company the most good, even if many people were outraged by the new ads featuring quarterback Colin Kaepernick, he of the NFL protests against the national anthem.

Some officials in the city and in New Orleans said they would buy Nike, just to answer Kenner’s protest against the shoe manufacturer. We doubt that will mean much to the company’s bottom line either.

What we wonder about is how conservatives who are supposed to believe in free markets and individual liberty are trying to tell athletes what brand of shoes they should buy.

A similar farce has occurred at the State Bond Commission, with the state of Louisiana foolishly striking two big national banks from a bid list for handling some state borrowing. A bare majority, with Republicans split and Gov. John Bel Edwards’ appointees against, decided they didn’t like the banks’ stance on loans to gun-related businesses.

In both cases, the venues chosen for the dispute make no sense, and the grandstanding by elected officials gets in the way of mundane decisions, including whether there will be Nike swooshes on kids’ ball uniforms. To the extent that purchasing is influenced, for athletic gear or for bond services, limiting competition might mean that average folks pay more.

Talk about a minor league decision by Kenner.