Rep. Richmond Responds to Kenner Mayor’s Nike Memorandum

September 11, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC- In response to Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn’s memo banning Nike purchases and deliveries, Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) released the following statement:


“After reading Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn’s memorandum demanding the immediate ban of Nike products for Kenner’s recreational facilities, I knew I had to publicly address yet another politician for senselessly attempting to further divide our community,” said Rep. Richmond. “We should take a moment to question why Nike is the top priority for a local politician when his residents face a variety of social and economic challenges. Mayor Zahn is imposing his personal beliefs onto Little League players, and I strongly oppose his stance.”


“My beloved home state, to which I have had the privilege of serving for nearly 20 years, like many others in our nation, has its fair share of problems. Louisiana’s educational system ranks 49th in the nation, our healthcare system ranks 47th in the nation, and Louisiana has one of the highest infant mortality rates at around 8%. I could go on with an additional list of challenges that all our communities and politicians face that we should collectively work together to solve, and that’s why Mayor Zahn has no business imposing this policy onto innocent children.”


“Nike is a multi-billion dollar global enterprise that has never contributed to the social and economic challenges in Louisiana. In fact, Nike donated more than 10 million dollars after Hurricane Katrina to build a stadium and track in Joe Brown Park for metro area children. Contrary to Mayor Zahn’s belief, Nike is not running a political campaign. Using the current controversy surrounding Nike’s support of Colin Kaepernick as an excuse to rob resources from those who need it most in Kenner is a clear sign of Mayor Zahn’s pandering at the expense of the very children he is entrusted with guiding. It is shameful to divide such a close-knit community just for national political attention."


“Instead of playing petty politics to score cheap points to the detriment of Little League players, Mayor Zahn should be working on behalf of his entire community. I have long put people over politics and have a consistent track record of bipartisanship to bring people together. Kenner residents deserve better, and I support their use of all Nike products.”