Nike Pulls ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Shoes After Colin Kaepernick Complaint
Mega shoemaker Nike is canceling a sneaker that featured a version of the American flag from the late 18th century synonymous with Betsy Ross just in time for the 4th of July. The reason? A complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick.
Nike said in a statement to CNN Business, "Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag." Reports say the Kaepernick reached out to the company, of which he was featured in a powerful ad recently, when he saw photos of the shoes. He expressed to Nike that he and others found the shoe offensive because of its ties to America's era of slavery. That version of the flag sewn by Betsy Ross was used in the United States from 1777 to 1795.
The shoes were reportedly delivered to vendors and then recalled by Nike. It's not known if any of the shoes actually made it into consumer hands. The shoe was set to be released Monday for $140, according to Sneakernews.com. One thing is sure, if any pairs did make it into circulation -- the price tag just went up. A whole lot.