Seal Beach Principal’s Anti-Nike Facebook Post Prompts Criticism, Online Petition

J.M. McGaugh Elementary School Principal Roni Burns-Ellis is seen on campus on Sept. 6, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

A Facebook post bashing Nike for its Colin Kaepernick ad had prompted hundreds to sign a petition this week against an elementary school teacher in Seal Beach.

The outcry came after the post appeared on a page belonging to Roni Burns-Ellis, the principal of McGaugh Elementary School, according to the Change.org petition.

The petition showed a photo of a post, which featured a picture of a cut-up Nike shirt and read, "My newest rag! When Nike signs an anti-American thug to represent their brand, I will not support, wear, purchase, or endorse their product. Bye-bye Nike.

It was uploaded on Tuesday, but has since been removed, the Orange County Register reported.

But by late Thursday morning, more than 550 people had signed the petition calling for leaders of the Los Alamitos Unified School District to "lead by example." Among other things, the petition condemned the post and sought civility, as well as respect for others and an end to name calling.

"Our children view the teachers and principals as a beacon of moral character. We hope our school leaders will act responsibly and will walk with kindness as they lead our children with their actions," the post stated.

Reaction to the post was mixed among the elementary school's parents.

"In her position, maybe she should have been wiser with her choice of words," one woman said. "I mean, she's entitled to her option, everybody is."

Another parent told KTLA he respected the principal, saying he didn't "have much of an opinion" on the matter.

Some who passed by the school shouted their support for the principal.

And still others expressed a much tougher stance over the incident.

"To me it's basically a racist opinion," another woman told KTLA. "To post that publicly was very disappointing."

KTLA reached out to the principal's office, which referred comment to the superintendent. Calls and emails to the superintendent were not immediately returned.

Meanwhile, a print ad featuring the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has already debuted, and a television commercial is set to air Thursday night during the NFL's opening game.

Nike made Kaepernick, who inspired the NFL player protest movement, the face of its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign.

The ad campaign has drawn both support and criticism, with some threatening to boycott Nike altogether.

CNN contributed to this story. 

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