EL DORADO, Ark. (CBS Local) — A sheriff’s department in Arkansas allegedly forced people under arrest to wear Nike T-shirts for their mug shot, apparently to mock the sports apparel brand, as well as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Activist and columnist Shaun King posted a photo of 12 inmates wearing Nike shirts on Twitter and Facebook late Wednesday and claimed that Union County Sheriff Ricky Roberts was “putting Nike T-shirts on people they arrest and making them wear them during mug shots. Source says it is to mock Nike and Colin Kaepernick. Disgusting.”
Less than an hour after King posted the allegation to social media, the Union County sheriff’s office removed all photos of inmates from the jail’s online roster, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Meanwhile, there’s been no comment from Roberts or anyone else at the sheriff’s office.
Kaepernick gained national attention in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racism.
Nike announced September 3 that it would feature Kaepernick in its 30th anniversary ad campaign of its “Just Do It” slogan. The company posted an ad featuring a black and white portrait of the NFL star with the caption “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The ad quickly became a viral sensation, sparking intense reaction. While many praised Nike for siding with Kaepernick’s message of social justice, some angry consumers posted photos and videos of themselves burning their Nike shoes and other gear and cutting the company swoosh logo on socks.
President Donald Trump said the Nike’s ad campaign sent a “terrible message” but acknowledged that the company is allowed to determine its own strategy.