Nike’s decision to cancel its “Betsy Ross flag” sneaker at the behest of NFL player and activist Colin Kaepernick has led to more than just criticism. People are now deciding to take their business elsewhere.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Nike was preparing to launch a new sneaker, the Air Max 1 USA, the design of which prominently featured the “Betsy Ross flag.” This particular flag, which was an early design for the current American flag, depicts 13 stars in a circle on a field of blue, together with the customary red and white stripes beneath.
History tells us that Ross was a flag maker who carried out her craft during the American Revolution. In fact, she may have designed the flag that Nike was planning to put on the sneaker, and she may also have produced the very first American flag, though historians say the evidence is inconclusive.
There is no doubt that Nike, with the launch of this sneaker, was looking to honor Ross and the principles for which her work stood during this week of July 4th, when Americans celebrate freedom and independence.
Enter Colin Kaepernick
NFL quarterback-turned-liberal-activist Colin Kaepernick is now primarily known for being the first player to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice. He started the trend that players in a range of sports continue to follow to this day.
Kaepernick, like many other high-profile professional athletes, is sponsored by Nike, and he apparently found the Besty Ross sneaker to be an especially problematic product. He argued that this particular version of the American flag has links to the era of slavery in America and was thus offensive. As such, he requested that Nike cancel its release of the shoe — and, of course, the company promptly obliged.
“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,” said a company spokesperson.
Boycott gains steam
As a result the company’s decision to pander to the political left, Nike is facing a backlash from more customers than just Ingraham. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was quick to express an opinion on the subject, tweeting:
Yep, I own lots of @Nike I’ve been a life-long customer, since I was kid. But they’ve now decided their shoes represent snide disdain for the American flag. Since they don’t want my business anymore, I won’t buy any more. Can anyone recommend a good sneaker co that’s not so woke? https://t.co/XQfO9Dh737
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 2, 2019
Syndicated talk show host Michael Medved agreed, calling Nike’s move an “idiotic disgrace.”
In response to what he called a “shameful retreat” from our country’s history, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) ordered his state’s commerce authority to withdraw corporate incentives already promised to Nike in relation to a manufacturing facility planned for the Phoenix area.
Going to the polls is not the only way for Americans to express their political opinions. Voting with the pocketbook is often just as effective.