Nike Drops “Betsy Ross” Sneaker After Kaepernick Called It Offensive
Nike had made plans to release their newest edition, the Air Max 1, just in time for the 4th of July celebration. The sneaker features the small version of the original American flag on the back. Betsy Ross created the first American flag that had 13 stars in a circle to represent the thirteen colonies in 1776. It wasn’t long before someone informed Nike that Betsy Ross’s American flag was constructed during a time of oppression and racism.
Colin Kaepernick spoke with Nike criticizing the design of the shoes because it is offensive due to the time in history when slavery was legal.
A spokesperson for Nike, Sandra Carreon-John, made a statement that they decided to drop the sneakers “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”
Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike. 3/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019
Unfortunately, Nike had already shipped the sneakers to retail stores. Without any explanation, Nike requested that retailers return the shoes. The sneakers had already made their way online to sites such as StockX Prices, where the shoes immediately skyrocketed to $2,500 for a pair as the news circulated that Nike pulled back the shoes. But don’t get too excited, all websites have ceased selling the Air Max 1 featuring the flag.
With this latest recall of shoes, Nike has officially become the topic of heated discussion. It wasn’t long ago that Nike was in the hot seat for another racial controversy involving Colin Kaepernick. A deal that was reportedly worth millions was offered to Colin Kaepernick to use his face as the “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick is well known for protesting during the national anthem and taking a knee for police brutality and racial injustice.
Nike made their statement regarding the shoes:
New Nike statement on pulling the flag shoes... pic.twitter.com/AkdVe9V87d— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 2, 2019
The 500 new jobs that Nike anticipated creating in Arizona are now in jeopardy due to backlash from Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey. When Governor Ducey found out about Nike’s decision, he tweeted: “Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here.”
Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism. 5/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019
It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it. 6/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019
Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here. 7/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019
And finally, it shouldn’t take a controversy over a shoe for our kids to know who Betsy Ross is. A founding mother. Her story should be taught in all American schools. In the meantime, it’s worth googling her. 9/9— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019
Jess Watters shared his opinion on “The Five” that he believes former quarterback Kaepernick is trying to divide the country with his objections toward outward expressions of patriotism and kneeling during the national anthem. He also remarked, “I do think he wants the end of the country. He is trying to destroy the flag–trying to destroy the national anthem, the borders, the presidents.” Of course, many others disagree.
Do you believe that Nike made the right call in pulling their new shoes? Do you agree with Kaepernick that the original American flag is offensive?