Following the controversial rollout of Nike’s new ad campaign featuring original anthem kneeler and former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the nation appeared divided on the company’s new spokesperson.
Nike sales soared 31 percent after its ad campaign began rolling out featuring its new spokesperson, as some supported Nike’s choice — while some others were outraged and burned their Nike gear.
Now, a story out of Little Rock, Arkansas, shows the ripple effect of the heightened attention on the global brand.
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Police showed up last Thursday to find a man waving a flag outside the Nike store in the Promenade at Chenal shopping center in Little Rock, as local news station Fox 16 reported.
“Now what better place to wave the flag than right here in front of the Nike store,” Jimmie Cavin can be heard saying in a video he posted to Facebook.
Cameras captured Cavin sitting outside the store with a flag fluttering in the wind.
Posted by Allison Siler on Thursday, September 13, 2018
Cavin’s flag was a blue-line flag; the blue represents police officers and the courage they find when faced with insurmountable odds, while the black background is meant to be a constant reminder of our fallen brother and sister officers.
“It was lunch time, so they [the Nike store] were full and I know people were watching from over there,” Cavin told Fox 16 on Friday.
“My priority is supporting law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics.”
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Cavin said he was sitting alone, on the tailgate of his car, not talking with anyone, when a patrol call rolled up.
“I guess probably 15 minutes into it, a Little Rock patrol car pulled up,” Cavin said.
A police report indicated that officers showed up after a store manager reported a disturbance.
“Of course, we chatted,” Cavin said. “He [an officer] realized I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
He said that almost as quickly as they arrived, the police left.
“So, Nike called the police on the guy supporting the police for supporting the police,” Cavin declared.
While Cavin may not agree with Colin Kaepernick, he said he’s a supporter of Kaepernick’s right to express himself.
“I usually fly them [flags] on my truck, too,” Cavin said. “I mean, just an ol’ redneck sitting on his tailgate waving a flag.”
The Nike media relations department reportedly told Fox 16 the company respects the right of people to protest peacefully.
Cavin has positioned himself at several different spots in central Arkansas over the years, waving different flags in support of law enforcement and first responders, noted Fox 16.
He said he plans to continue doing so despite Thursday’s incident — and despite pushback he has received via social media.
He posted a message on Facebook to his haters that said in part: “Message to those who hate me … I don’t care. I have been standing for law enforcement, EMTs, firefighters for a long time.”
“You think this is the 1st time people have called me names?” he continued. “You think this is the 1st time people have attacked me personally ? You think this is the 1st time people have threatened me?”
“Let me say to all of these people … bring it!” he wrote.
“Bring all ya got & then bring some more,” he added on social media. “Do anything you want whenever you wanna do it. When you run out of names to call me, do some research & find some more. When you run out of photo shop ideas, do some research & find some more. When you run out of information to put out about me, do some research & find some more. When you run out of threat ideas, do some research & find some more.”
He emphasized, “I don’t back down & I’m like country music … I’m here to stay.”
See more of Cavin in the video below.