Texas Farm Bureau and Mississippi Dept. of Public Safety Ban Employees From Wearing Nikes

Illustration for article titled Texas Farm Bureau and Mississippi Dept. of Public Safety Ban Employees From Wearing Nikes
Image: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images/KTRW)

In a devastating blow to the apparel giant’s bottom line, two organizations comprised of people who never wore Nikes anyway, announced a ban on employees wearing Nikes because they love the flag, the troops, the national anthem and everything America has to offer except for the First Amendment of the Constitution. Well actually, they love that part too ... except when black people use it. But other than that ... ‘Murica!


KWTX reports that the Texas Farm Bureau, an organization that represents “the interests of agricultural producers and rural communities” informed employees that they could no longer wear Nikes to work. Upset that sporting goods company Nike chose Colin Kaepernick as the face of its 30th Anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign, the nonprofit sent an email to workers explaining their decision, writing:

There is a wide range of viewpoints on the Nike controversy. Texas Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies employees are asked to not wear Nike branded apparel while representing the companies. We are choosing to remove our companies from this controversy by discontinuing the use of Nike branded apparel for business purposes. The attire you choose on your own time is a personal matter.

Despite the fact that the only employee who wore the shoes was Carl, the membership coordinator who fashionably paired his cowboy hat with a pair of Lebron James’ signature sneakers, the news is sure to impact sales of Nikes’ upcoming launch of the Lone Ranger 7s, a lightweight, very high top cowboy boot made for professional rodeo clowns and anyone who wants to mosey on down the road in comfortable footwear.

Meanwhile, in a statement to the Associated Press, Mississippi Department of Public Safety commissioner Marshall Fisher said the agency which oversees the Highway Patrol, Bureau of Narcotics, Bureau of Investigation, Office of Homeland Security, the state crime lab and the state medical examiner, would no longer purchase goods from Nike.

“As commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, I will not support vendors who do not support law enforcement and our military,” Fisher wrote in the statement.

A spokesman said the department has bought shoes, shirts and tactical training uniforms from the sportswear company in the past, despite the fact that an Associated Press search of the database that documents state purchases seems to show that Mississippi has spent a grand total of zero dollars on Nike products in the past fiscal year.


“I support the commissioner’s decision,” said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant in a separate statement, noting that the commissioner has the authority to choose which companies his agency does 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,” Bryant wrote in a font that likely conveyed a Foghorn Leghorn-like Mississippi drawl.

However one cannot discount the fact that US News ranks Mississippi’s education system 46th in the nation, while its economy and access to opportunity rank 48th and 49th, respectively. Perhaps Strain and Bryant believe they spend seven figures on Nikes, simply writing it as $0,000,000 per year.


The Texas Farm Bureau and Mississippi are the latest entities to ban Nike purchases. Kenner La. mayor Ben Zahn banned his city’s recreation department from purchasing Nikes before reversing his decision after a public outcry. Tennessee State Senator and chairman of the state’s Finance, Ways and Means committee is also pressuring Tennessee’s state-funded colleges to ban Nike from campuses.


Colin Kaepernick’s NFL protests against police brutality, injustice and inequality have become a rallying cry in for Republicans in red states like Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, who say the protests are anti-American and disrespectful to the flag.

Of course, there is no way the Texas Farm Bureau could possibly be aware of incidents like the death of Botham Jean when it happened all the way in Dallas, TX. How could a Tennessee State Senator be expected to know about the police shooting of Daniel Hambrick, who was gunned down by a Nashville cop as Hambrick was running away? And when it comes to racism, Kenner is a distant 40 miles from Slidell, La., where a math teacher was fired for posting a racist rant about the NFL protests on Facebook.


And Mississippi is ... well, it’s Mississippi. In Mississippi, you can get elected by telling black people to “stop begging for government scraps,” like Republican candidate for Senate Chris McDaniel did on Friday.

But Mississippi State Troopers and employees of the Texas Farm Bureau will now be forced to search for alternative footwear, which is unfortunate.


Aside from a crisp pair of white Air Force 1s, what else goes nicely with a freshly ironed Ku Klux Klan robe?

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“Free Speech.... No! Not that speech!”

--Every GOP official, ever.