Sheriff Insults Colin Kaepernick by Having Prisoners Wear Nike Shirts in Mug Shots

Illustration for article titled Sheriff Insults Colin Kaepernick by Having Prisoners Wear Nike Shirts in Mug Shots
Screenshot: THV-11

Sheriff Rickey Roberts of the Union County, Ark., Sherriff’s Office, was apparently so incensed that Colin Kaepernick was chosen as a spokesperson for Nike, that he went out, bought some Nike (probably with his company credit card), and decided to humiliate the prisoners in his jail by having them take mug shots in the shirts.


Roberts, like so many other red-blooded Americans like Donald Trump, was so incensed that Kaepernick led a silent protest against injustice in America, but will still named the face of Nike’s new “Just Do It” campaign, that he took out his rage on those in his charge and gave them a name brand shirt. He probably also burned his pair of shitty $30 Nikes from Sam’s Club for good measure.

Of course, when this BS was made public, first in a Twitter post by activist Shaun King, the Sheriffs Department came up with several perfectly reasonable explanations for putting all of its arrestees in the shirts—for one, that they didn’t have “proper attire” during the booking process, according to THV 11.

King wrote in his Twitter post that a “source” told him that Roberts disliked Kaepernick and wanted to mock Nike by putting arrestees in its apparrel.

King further said that Roberts was a Trump supporter, according to the source, and that the Nike shirt-fiasco happened 10 days after the Nike ad was released, reports HuffPo.

So let’s break this down. First, it’s about not having proper attire.

That might have flown, but of 12 people shown, the clear majority have on something under their shirts … things that look like they would have been fine on their own.


Then, the sheriff’s department then said it had the shirts for several months prior to the Nike Kaepernick ad release.


On Thursday Sheriff Ricky Bobby Roberts released a statement saying that it was never his intention to demean those who have no control of what he does to them and that he treats everyone with the “utmost dignity and respect.”


The full statement reads:

It has come to my attention that shirts worn by individuals booked into our facility have been deemed offensive by certain individuals. It is not our intent, nor has it ever been our intent, to demean or disparage those who are innocent until proven guilty. I require that my staff treat everyone with the utmost dignity and respect. This being said, there are many times individuals enter our facility that lack proper attire during the booking process. In an attempt to provide individuals with a sense of dignity, along with providing a photograph which is appropriate for public viewing, we provide these individuals with clothing to wear.

It has been brought to my attention that there are those who feel that one of our shirts of choice may be viewed as inappropriate. Please understand, I require that this office treats everyone equally and equitably within the law. We are not, and will not, be influenced by current political and social debates in the media. Also, these shirts were not purchased by the Sheriff’s Office to be used for this purpose but were simply on hand and available. We are charged with one simply duty; uphold the law and keep the peace. This shirt is not only in use now but has also been for several months prior. We have taken steps to rectify this issue and ensure that this will never happen again. I understand the concern of those who may have found this offensive, and for that I apologize.


This type of childish treatment of prisoners is nothing new. Robert’s actions are reminiscent of Joe Arpaio, the disgraced former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio also called himself debasing those in his charge—by having them wear pink underwear.

He turned out to be a Trump guy, too.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.


Fire his ass. Prisoners are not his personal property to make fucking statements with.

What’s worse btw, kneeling for the anthem or abusing people in your charge to attempt to shame Nike?