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Sheriff made inmates wear Nike shirts in mug shots to mock Kaepernick, activist says

Shaun King, an activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, said sources tell him an Arkansas sheriff is forcing jail inmates to wear Nike shirts to mock Colin Kaepernick after the two made a promotion deal.
Shaun King, an activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, said sources tell him an Arkansas sheriff is forcing jail inmates to wear Nike shirts to mock Colin Kaepernick after the two made a promotion deal. Facebook/Shaun King

A prominent activist in the Black Lives Matter movement says an Arkansas sheriff has been forcing jail inmates to wear Nike T-shirts in their mugshots.

“Source says it is to mock Nike and Colin Kaepernick,” activist Shaun King posted to Twitter on Wednesday night. “Disgusting.”

The post included a collage of 18 booking photos with men and women in black T-shirts with the Nike logo.

This comes about a month after Nike signed a deal with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette confirmed that at least 11 of the 182 inmates in the jail were wearing a “large, black T-shirt with NIKE ATHLETICS in boldface font above Nike’s signature check mark.”

But at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, all booking photos were removed from the jail’s online roster, the newspaper reported. That was less than an hour after King posted about the mug shots.

Mug shots started featuring that black Nike T-shirt around Sept. 15, according to the Democrat-Gazette, but there are other photos as far back as July with a different Nike shirt.

Union County Sheriff Ricky Roberts told FOX16 in a statement that these shirts were given to inmates who were not wearing “proper attire during the booking process.”

“We are not, and will not, be influenced by current political and social debates in the media,” Roberts said in a statement, according to FOX16. “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 insure that this will never happen again.

Kaepernick made headlines when he took a stand by kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 NFL season, protesting racial injustice and police brutality, according to the Washington Post. He claims the league kept him off the roster because of those protests. 

Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” he tweeted with one of the first photos in the new “Just Do It” campaign. 

Nike on Monday unveiled Colin Kaepernick as the face of its newest ad, released for the 30th anniversary of the company's "Just Do It" slogan.

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