Find Station

Colin Kaepernick Axes Nike's Plan to Release Betsy Ross American Flag Shoe

Nike has cancelled the release of an Independence Day themed sneaker

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Nike has pulled millions of shoes off store shelves Sunday after a bizarre dispute involving former disgraced NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last played in the league in 2016.

The sneaker leviathan was ready to release the 'Air Max 1 Quickstrike Fourth of July' trainers to honor the upcoming Fourth of July holiday on Thursday. The shoes had been shipped to retailers and were ready for the upcoming release on Monday, July 1st, but hours later Nike unexpectedly demanded all vendors return the shoes without giving an explanation why.

It turned out Kaepernick, who has become a prominent spokesman with the company since he signed a sponsorship deal in September of 2018, had intervened and demanded Nike cancel the release of the sneakers.

The shoes showcased an old-fashioned American flag on the back heel –– which has become known as the ‘Betsy Ross’ flag –– with 13 white stars in a circle in the upper left portion representing the thirteen original colonies.

The flag was flown during the American Revolution and is often credited to being the first American flag ever designed.

Nike, however, decided to axe the promotion after Kaepernick himself voiced his displeasure with the design and claimed it was racially insensitive because of its connection to a period of American history that included slavery.

The flag has had a peculiar rise and fall in usage the last decade, with some claiming it’s become a symbol of white nationalism and a logo for extremist groups.

In response to the controversial decision, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said he plans to withdraw financial incentives that were once promised to Nike if they went through with their plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Phoenix.

Here are Ducey’s comments below:

"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… Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Here is how both sides are reacting to the controversy on Twitter.