Outrage as Nike scraps American flag sneaker after complaint from Colin Kaepernick
Nike is facing a barrage of criticism for its decision to pull a Fourth of July sneaker that featured the American flag, following a complaint from former NFL player turned political activist Colin Kaepernick.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (Rep) announced on Tuesday he is ordering a withdrawal of incentives for Nike’s manufacturing plant in the state over the move to scrap the sneaker that featured the ‘Betsy Ross flag.’
I love America. I stand for the anthem, respect the flag & honor the men & women who fought to defend our Nation. I respect Free Speech & I’m exerting mine: until @Nike ends its contempt for those values, I WILL NO LONGER PURCHASE NIKE PRODUCTS. #WalkAwayFromNike RT if you agree. https://t.co/IvXNTgvlHq— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 2, 2019
The news broke following a report by the Wall Street Journal that claimed Kaepernick told Nike he found the very idea of the shoe “offensive” because of its connection to America’s slavery era. The shoe was reportedly scheduled to be released on Monday, with a price tag of $140.
“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike,” Ducey tweeted. “Nike is an iconic American brand and American company. This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed them to prosper and flourish.”
A Nike spokeswoman confirmed to the WSJ that it “has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag.” Reaction to the move has been mighty, with many critics, including Senator Ted Cruz, taking to Twitter to lambaste the brand and share promises to avoid it indefinitely.
Nike pulls Betsy Ross flag shoe after Kaepernick says it is offensive. This is getting ridiculous. I will walk barefoot before I buy a pair of Nikes. Who is with me?— 🇺🇸AmericanWoman🇺🇸 (@ScrewedHumans) July 2, 2019
“Ohhh Jeez. I can’t believe what has happened to our Country, this is just sad. I would have bought those shoes because I love America but Kaepernick & Nike say I can’t,” actress Kristy Swanson wrote.
Kaepernick, the former quarterback who famously led the protests against the treatment of African-Americans by police by kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games, was announced as the face of Nike last year.
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