National Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury issued a statement Wednesday in response to Nike's ad campaign featuring anti-police activist and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
"Colin Kaepernick and all Americans have the constitutional right to freely express their views, even if they are uninformed and inflammatory. Indeed, law enforcement officers have an obligation to defend these rights and we do so every day, even in those cases when the views expressed are hostile, hateful, or offensive to the men and women of law enforcement.
"The Fraternal Order of Police has been called upon to boycott Nike for capitalizing on this former professional football player because he attracts controversy. In our experience, boycotts and similar exercises do not succeed and often serve to only enrich the company—which is not what we want to do. Our members, and for that matter any American citizen, understand when the law enforcement profession is being insulted—we have no doubt they will make their purchases with that insult in mind.
"If Nike chooses to create an ad campaign featuring a former quarterback who describes cops as 'pigs' and makes large donations to the family of a convicted cop killer and wanted fugitive Joanne Chesimard, who murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in cold blood in 1973, they are free to do so.
"Since 2016, 381 officers have been killed in the line of duty. They believed in something and sacrificed everything, as did the families they left behind. All of the men and women in law enforcement believe in something are prepared to sacrifice everything.
"Ultimately, this ad campaign will end and our nation will no longer associate 'sacrifice' and 'sneakers.' Instead, we will once again associate 'sacrifice' with our fellow Americans in our military and police departments who stand in harm's way to protect the rest of us and our right to express ourselves."