NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The North Smithfield Town Council has voted to withdraw a resolution that requested town departments not purchase Nike products.
The resolution was introduced by Council President John Beauregard last week in response to the clothing manufacturer’s polarizing new ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In a swift meeting Monday night, Beauregard apologized for the attention the resolution brought to the town.
“There is clearly a large gap in how we perceive things,” he said. “This is something that has to be worked on by both sides.”
No public comment was allowed at the meeting, and all five town council members voted to withdraw the resolution.
Despite the withdrawal, Beauregard said his opinion of Nike or of Kaepernick has not changed.
“I still believe that people who have truly sacrificed everything and whose faces should be on a poster are those officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. And not someone who mocks their very existence,” he explained at the meeting.
Critics of the resolution believe Beauregard’s apology wasn’t sincere.
“It would have been better if the ‘apology,’ which it wasn’t an apology if it was more humble and more reflective of self-reflection as humility,” Cynthia Roberts, who organized a peaceful protest outside prior to the meeting, said. “It didn’t represent any of that. That was disappointing to me.”