Louisville Slugger makers stop producing souvenir nightsticks for police foundation after mass protests
Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of the legendary Louisville Slugger baseball bat, have stopped making memorial nightsticks that look like the bat the Louisville Metro Police Foundation is supposed to sell, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
The Foundation's website previously offered three different versions of the small wooden night stick, each at $ 59.99, which, according to the report, were intended for those who wanted to "be on the Louisville Beat with the legendary bat of Louisville".
The move comes after George Floyd's murder in police custody late last month, which sparked widespread protests as well as a much larger discussion of racism and police brutality across the country. Louisville also had significant demonstrations after Breonna Taylor's death.
Taylor, an EMT from the Louisville area, was shot in her bed at around midnight on March 13 after police ordered a search warrant at her home during a drug investigation. Police reports of the incident have been highly controversial since then, according to the New York Times.
According to the report, the company had produced the souvenir nightsticks “at least” for 15 to 20 years.
The problem with the sale of the Nightsticks was said to have "occurred internally within the last 36 hours". Instead, the company told the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Independent Police Foundation that it "is open to discuss other ways we can support their organization's efforts that benefit our entire community."
"We have publicly condemned racism," Rick Redman, vice president of corporate communications at Hillerich & Bradsby Co., told the Courier Journal. “We condemn the brutality of the police in all forms. We recognize the symbolism of the nightsticks.
“We are not a mass producer of nightsticks. The product offered on the Louisville Metro Police Foundation website is a commemorative article intended for exhibition. LMPF has sold it over the years as a fundraiser. Historically, the earliest evidence in our archives of nightsticks dates back to the 1940s, when we made them for the military police during World War II. "
The makers of the legendary Louisville Slugger bats have stopped producing wooden night sticks that look like the bats, which has been the case for 15 to 20 years. (AP / Brett Barrouquere)
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