Just Don't Do It: Rhode Island Town Boycotts Nike



I previously wrote about College of the Ozarks, which did away with any and all Nike products for its sports teams (please see here). Well, here’s a one-upping: an entire town has banned Nike. Or, at least, it’s trying.


On Monday, the town council for North Smithfield, Rhode Island passed a non-binding resolution asking all its departments to resist the urge to Just Do It.

The motion passed 3-2, according to Council President John Beauregard. The former state trooper is none too pleased with the swoosh’s endorsement of Colin Kaepernick, who took jerseyed protest to its greatest heights imaginable.

Not everyone’s a fan of North Smithfield’s directive: The American Civil Liberties Union — which, oddly, is quite often in desperate need of getting A CLU — has announced potential legal ramifications for, in its view, the council’s violation of the First Amendment.

North Smithfield isn’t the only town swearing off Nike: just days ago, public safety chief for Mississippi accused the shoe company of not supporting law enforcement and the military. The state’s governor, Phil Bryant, applauded the state police’s disassociation from Nike products.

As for the approximately 25-square-mile Rhode Island town, population 12,314, the ACLU released a statement:

“By attacking the right to peacefully protest and refusing to recognize the racial injustice prompting it, the resolution shows a disdain for both freedom and equality. Rhode Island is better than this.”


Well, there ya go.


Thank you for reading! What do you think of the boycott? Is this an issue of the First Amendment? Sound off on the Nike issue, Colin, North Smithfield, and the ACLU in the Comments section below.

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