September 10, 2018
NEW ORLEANS - After a memo circulated from Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn "banning" the purchase of a particular apparel brand due to their outspoken support for justice and civil rights, New Orleans City Councilmembers have issued the following statements:
Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams says, "For years now, Colin Kaepernick has been following the honorable and brave tradition of athletes standing up, kneeling down or raising a fist for human rights. I commend Nike for recognizing his sacrifice and thereby supporting the fight against police brutality and for human life."
Councilmember-At-Large Helena Moreno says, "Here in New Orleans, we believe our kids can wear whatever sports apparel they want. Moreover, we believe in our First Amendment rights; that the government has no role in prohibiting or chilling speech or attire some politicians don't like. We believe in just, humane, and effective policing that guarantees equal rights to all - regardless of race, color, or creed - policing that does all it can to avoid unnecessary and unwarranted deaths."
District "A" Councilmember Joe Giarrusso says, "Children's sports should be about camaraderie and sportsmanship, not scoring political points. To drag them into this is unfair when all children need as many resources as possible."
District "B" Councilmember Jay H. Banks says, "It is truly disappointing that someone would want to deny children the opportunity to participate in safe, structured, specialized activities because he wants to make a political statement. Most public recreation facility activities are paid for by the parents, booster clubs, and other supporters of children who use the facility and paid for out of their own pockets. No child's development should be used as a pawn in political chess games, that is way out of bounds. This is the United States of America, not Russia; our citizens can buy whatever they want to."
District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer says, "It is unfortunate to watch a local leader ignore the true needs of his community in favor of seeking his 15 minutes of fame by riding the coattails of divisive national figures. And, to do so by dictating to booster clubs how they should spend their privately raised money on their own children is the height of absurdity. We will continue to denounce this type of behavior and encourage our neighbors to support organizations, businesses, cities and their leaders who exemplify togetherness, love and respect of all people."
District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett says, "The recent expressions of hostility and prejudice in Louisiana are disheartening and disgraceful, and they in no way reflect the values we hold dear here in New Orleans. Now, more than ever, we must come together to spread love where there is hate, and applaud those who do so unapologetically. Whether you agree with the message or not, this ban goes against everything it means to be an American and we will not stand for it. New Orleans is a diverse, inclusive and welcoming city for people to live, work, play, and visit. Other cities in Louisiana should strive for the same."
District "E" Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen says, "I highly encourage the Mayor of Kenner to rescind his statement. In District E, we do not support this kind of activity. We are a diverse community that embraces all cultures. City government should not get involved in the brand of clothing people in their community choose to purchase or wear. I stand with Nike, and I support its products and brand."
Jarvis A. Lewis
Chief Of Staff
Councilmember Jay H. Banks, District 'B'
Chief of Staff
Councilmember At-Large Helena Moreno
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