Athletic apparel retail giant Nike offended at least half the country when they chose disgraced anti-American flag/national anthem protest leader and ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick as the new face of their long-running and formerly inspirational — now political — “Just Do It” ad campaign.
While many individuals had already announced they would boycott Nike over the association with Kaepernick, it appears those boycotters will now be joined by a state law enforcement agency — the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
Mississippi’s Department of Public Safety is an umbrella law enforcement agency that includes the state’s Bureau of Investigations, Bureau of Narcotics, Crime Lab, Highway Patrol, Medical Examiner and Office of Homeland Security.
State leaders support decision
According to The Associated Press, the boycott was announced on Saturday by DPS Commissioner Marshall Fisher, who said they would no longer purchase Nike products. Fisher said in a statement, “As commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, I will not support vendors who do not support law enforcement and our military.”
The move appears to have the full backing of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who said in a statement, “I support the commissioner’s decision,”and added that the commissioner enjoys the right to pick and choose which vendors to do business with, “and it’s not going to be a company that pays an individual who has slandered our fine men and women in law enforcement.”
The boycott also drew the support of Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who is preparing for his own future run for the governorship. “By supporting the NFL protests, Nike is making it clear that they would rather stand with those who show contempt for our country over those who defend it,” said Reeves.
ACLU criticized boycott
Of course, the announcement was met with instant criticism from the left. The state’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union ludicrously suggested the move was a display of “racism” and “discrimination” by the state government.
The Mississippi ACLU said in a two-part tweet Saturday, “These are the people that are representing all Mississippians. These are the people that are creating policy that impact all of our lives. These are the people that took an oath to uphold the Constitution.”
“Yet they refuse to understand what equality, justice, and accountability means. This petty decision is just another show of racism, discrimination, stupidity, inequity, and divisive politics,” the group added.
It is unclear how much gear the Mississippi DPS has purchased from Nike in the past, and a quick perusal of already available public records and databases by the AP showed there had been no direct purchases made from Nike by any state government agency within the current budgetary year.
However, a department spokesperson said Nike gear, including shoes, shirts, and tactical training uniforms had been purchased in previous years.
Though his defenders will certainly argue otherwise, Kaepernick’s protest has done more to offend patriotic Americans who support or serve in law enforcement and the military than to accomplish any sort of positive change.
The Missippie DPS’s decision will undoubtedly be well-received by the plethora of patriotic Mississippians.