In the spirit of Independence Day approaching on the fourth, companies are expected to roll out American Flag themed merchandise of all sorts. #Nike, however, is nixing their idea thanks to Colin Kaepernick.
According to Wall Street Journal, Nike was set to release the Air Max 1 USA on July 4th. The sneaker featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution.
Images of the design surfaced online, and Colin Kaepernick was not fond of what he saw. He reportedly reached out to company officials expressing concerns about the flag being offensive due to its connection to an era of slavery.
Nike reportedly shipped the shoes to retailers nationwide, and abruptly had them returned without reason. A Nike spokeswoman reportedly offered a vague explanation why.
“Nike had chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” she said.
The flag was created in 1770 to represent the original 13 colonies. In the 1790’s. stars and stripes were added to reflect the few states that were added to the union. The current American flag was chosen in 1960, when Hawaii was declared a U.S. state.
The Betsy Ross flag has caused tensions in various settings. In 1026, the superintendent of a Michigan school district apologized after students waved the flag at a football game.
Although the flag isn’t used nationwide, the local chapter of the NAACP says it has been a symbol of white supremacy and nationalism. The chapter also says the flag was adapted by groups who opposed America’s “increasing diversity”.
Colin Kapernick began his journey with activism in 2016 after his protest of police brutality landed him a spot on the list of athletes blackballed from the NFL.
As we’ve previously reported, Colin kneeled during a playoff game while the national anthem was being sung. Since then, Colin has used his influence to spread the message of equality, equity, and diversity.
Kaepernick’s relationship with Nike is one of his most controversial acts to date. Last year, Nike made Colin the face of an advertising campaign, which generated more backlash than expected.
Social media users worldwide began to boycott Nike, posting videos of themselves torching Nike shoes and destroying other merchandise. Nike’s sales, however, have increased since the incident.
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