A Kenner city councilman had harsh words Sunday in reaction to a memo widely circulated on social media appearing to show Mayor Ben Zahn calling for a ban on booster clubs at city recreational facilities buying Nike products.
"I was not made aware of this decision beforehand and it is in direct contradiction of what I stand for and what the City of Kenner should stand for. I am 100% AGAINST this decision," Councilman Gregory Carroll said in a Facebook post. "I will meet with the Mayor and other Council members in an effort to rescind this directive."
Nike has recently found itself the subject of controversy after running a commercial featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had been criticized for kneeling during the playing of the national anthem while he played for the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick chose to kneel as a protest against police killings of African-Americans.
Zahn did not respond to requests for comment Sunday morning, but did speak on the issue last Sunday, Sept. 2, at Kenner's Freedom Fest at the Lake.
"She's going to come out and do our national anthem because this is not the NFL football players, right? This is the city of Kenner. In the city of Kenner we all stand," he told the crowd prior to performance of the anthem.
Zahn's apparent memo caused a social media firestorm after it started being circulated Saturday night, even generating a reaction from Kenner native Donna Brazile, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, who tweeted she was "disappointed in my beloved City of Kenner."
New Orleans councilman Jay Banks posted a photo to Facebook holding a Nike shirt outside the sportswear story.
"I have never felt a need to purchase one of these before but I am compelled now," Banks wrote in the Facebook post Sunday.
The full text of the memo read: “Effective immediately all purchases made by any booster club operating at any Kenner Recreation Facility for wearing apparel, shoes, athletic equipment and/or any athletic product must be approved by the Director of Parks and Recreation, or his designee. 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.”