The sheriff’s office in Union County, Ark., has been accused of shaming people they arrest by forcing them to wear Nike shirts in their mugshots.
Columnist Shaun King shared the photos on Twitter on Wednesday and alleged the stunt was to mock Colin Kaepernick and his Nike ad campaign.
The Sheriff in Union County, Arkansas is putting Nike t-shirts on people they arrest and making them wear them during mugshots.
Source says it is to mock Nike and Colin Kaepernick. Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/9z9Nw9hxuF
— Shaun King (@shaunking) October 11, 2018 The department denied the allegation.
“We are not, and will not, be influenced by current political and social debates in the media,” Sheriff Ricky Roberts wrote in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Roberts told Little Rock, Ark., television station KLRT that the shirts were made available to suspects who were “without proper attire” at the time of their arrests.
Less than an hour after King’s tweet, the sheriff’s office removed all inmate photos from its website.
Nike’s decision to use Kaepernick as the face of its latest advertising campaign has been met with anger and celebration.
The quarterback has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, when he began kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality against African-Americans and other racial injustices.