Activist Says Arkansas Sheriff’s Office Forced Inmates to Wear Nike Shirts in Mug Shots

The Union County sheriff’s office website’s jail roster showed these six inmates and five others wearing the same Nike shirt before the images were removed on Wednesday night.

An activist on social media alleged Wednesday that a sheriff’s office in south Arkansaswas forcing inmates to wear a Nike shirt in mug shots to mock the company’s recent deal with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Activist and columnist Shaun King posted a photo of 12 inmates wearing Nike shirts on Twitter and Facebook late Wednesday and said that Union County Sheriff Ricky Roberts was “putting Nike t-shirts on people they arrest and making them wear them during mug shots. Source says it is to mock Nike and Colin Kaepernick. Disgusting.”

In early September, Nike made a deal to feature Kaepernick on billboards, television and online ads.

The former 49ers quarterback gained national attention in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of the country’s treatment of members of minority groups.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reached out to the Roberts on Wednesday evening but was unable to speak with him. Calls to the sheriff’s office were directed to a voicemail for the the public relations officer, Chief Deputy Charles Phillips, who was also unavailable Wednesday night.

About 9 p.m. Wednesday, less than an hour after King posted the allegation to social media, the Union County sheriff’s office removed all photos of inmates from the jail’s online roster.

Before the photos were taken down, at least 11 of the 182 inmates were shown wearing a large, black T-shirt with NIKE ATHLETICS in boldface font above Nike’s signature check mark.

Though King’s post features two Nike shirts — the aforementioned T-shirt and a black polo shirt with a small white Nike swoosh in the upper right-hand corner — the second shirt could be seen in mug shots as far back as July, before the Sept. 3 announcement of the Nike-Kaepernick deal.

The NIKE ATHLETICS shirt began to show up in mug shots around Sept. 15, according to the jail’s roster.


If you haven't already, be sure to like our Filming Cops Page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our sister site Smokers ONLY

Sign Up To Receive Your Free E-Book
‘Advanced Strategies On Filming Police’

About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

You might also like