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Nike blasted for selling shoes that feature slavery-era flag

Photo: A.R. Shaw
Photo: A.R. Shaw

Athletic shoe behemoth Nike has canceled an American flag-themed shoe line after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick said the shoes feature the slavery-era flag emblem.

Yahoo Sports report that Nike reflexively yanked down the shoe line from stores after Kaepernick and others raised concern that the “Betsy Ross Flag” printed on the heel of the company’s Air Max 1 was racist. Kaepernick also noted the shoes have been adopted by white supremacist groups such as the Patriot Movement and Identity Evropa to promote White identity.

Nike spokesman Mark Rhodes released a statement Monday that was obtained by Yahoo Sports stating: “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.”

The “Betsy Ross Flag” is different from the current American flag, as the old flag features 13 stars in a circle to symbolize the original 13 colonies. The Betsy Ross flag has spiked in popularity in the last few years by White nationalist groups during the Donald Trump era.

These were the sentiments and concerns raised by Kaepernick and others when he told Nike the Ross flag is racist. As a result, Nike began recalling the shoes that had been shipped across the nation. There is no word about how many of the shoes have already been sold.

Nike is getting blistered on both sides of the political divide as you can see below. They are getting slammed from people whose beliefs align with Kaepernick. But Nike is also getting excoriated by powerful conservatives who threaten to take action against Nike for shuttering the shoe line.

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