“With the annual July 4th celebration of America securing its independence from Great Britain right around the corner, several patriotic-colored takes on popular Nike shoes have surfaced, and the latest pair to appear is this Air Max 1 equipped with Betsy Ross’s original American flag design.” — Sneaker News
Wait. Scratch that…
Nike will not be releasing its Betsy Ross flag sneakers after all.
Well, according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s due to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick telling Nike the flag is offensive to him and others “because it dates to the late 18th century, a period of widespread slavery in the United States.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Nike had already shipped the shoes to retailers. Then, without explanation, the company asked them to be sent back.
“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman said.
After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery, the people said. Some users on social media responded to posts about the shoe with similar concerns. Mr. Kaepernick declined to comment.
The fact of the matter is, for a company worth billions, the company’s loss of Betsy Ross flag-shoe sales to customers will not likely make a dent.
Nor, will the company lose that much money by having its Betsy Ross flag sneakers returned.
After all, Nike will likely have workers in some third-world country (to whom it pays pennies per hour) remove the “offensive” flags before stitching a more politically-correct symbol on them.
[Editor’s note: We have heard Che Guevara symbols are selling well among certain demographics this year.]
Despite the fact that it will never be known just how many people would have actually bought shoes with the Betsy Ross flag on them, on Twitter, many voiced their disdain for the company’s decision.
America and the promise made in the Declaration of Independence gave birth to the greatest nation on the planet. But Kaepernick and the corporate PC police are embarrassed by the flag and that promise. Pathetic. Stand for America and the flag! #MAGA #KAG https://t.co/9zlb7WzNWY
— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimguilfoyle) July 2, 2019
Im done with NIKE. Taking the flag off? #nikeboycott
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs_NEFL19) July 2, 2019
Happy FOURTH OF JULY!!!
— Cactus_Viking LLC (@_JohnBright) July 2, 2019
Here’s why I’ll never buy #Nike again. Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive, according to people familiar with the matter. https://t.co/81NFrUaXT3
— Tim Dawson (@timdawson1956) July 2, 2019
— Mike (@BestBarknCtown) July 2, 2019
— Mike (@NarcdFrog) October 7, 2018
I'll never buy another thing from this company. Disgusted. #NikeBoycott
— Jack Pura (@jpura94) September 17, 2018