by WorldTribune Staff, July 3, 2019
Nike pulled its “Betsy Ross Flag” sneakers after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick advised the sportswear giant that the American flag is a symbol of racism, hate, and slavery.
But Nike had no problem when it came to the national flags and colors from such human rights abusers as China and Turkey, a columnist noted.
“It may seem warm and fuzzy to celebrate all these nations on their shoes. But it is notable that even as the sportswear company is now insisting that the U.S. flag is a ‘symbol of oppression’ and is inexorably tied to ‘slavery,’ and ‘racism,’ they have no problem at all celebrating countries that have far worse, modern day records on human rights,” Warner Todd Huston wrote for Breitbart News on July 2.
To celebrate the Olympics in 2016, Nike added a “country flag” option to orders. So customers could get the flag of China on their shoes. Among its myriad of human rights abuses, China currently has more than 1 million Muslim Uyghurs imprisoned in re-education camps.
Huston noted that “While happily offering the Turkish flag shoes, for instance, Nike seems less interested that Turkey ranks as the second most restrictive country on gay rights.”
Nike was also “quick to create gay pride flag-themed shoes,” Huston wrote. “There are quite a few styles set up in the rainbow colors of gay pride. So, as far as Nike is concerned, gay pride is great, but American pride is ‘racist.’ ”
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz launched a #WalkAwayFromNike campaign after the left-wing company pulled the “Betsy Ross Flag” shoes.
“I love America. I stand for the anthem, respect the flag & honor the men & women who fought to defend our Nation. I respect Free Speech & I’m exerting mine,” Cruz tweeted on July 2.
“[U]ntil @Nike ends its contempt for those values I WILL NO LONGER PURCHASE NIKE PRODUCTS. #WalkAwayFromNike RT if you agree,” he added.
In another tweet, Cruz wrote: “It’s a good thing @Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag…. @NFL #HappyFourth.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the shoes in question, the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July, were manufactured and ready to ship when Nike abruptly decided to dump the product after Kaepernick said the 13 star flag created by Betsy Ross at the request of George Washington is connected to the slave era.
“We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services. Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday,” Nike said in a statement to The Hill.
Nine Line Apparel, a Georgia-based clothing company owned and operated by veterans, is releasing a new line of shirts featuring the Betsy Ross flag design and sticking it to Nike in the process.
Nine Line Apparel unveiled the limited-edition shirts featuring the Ross flag with the words “Just Stand” written in an approximation of the iconic Nike “Just Do It” font.
“In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory, symbolized as a divine charioteer, flying over the battlefield to reward the victors,” Nine Line Apparel wrote online. “When it comes to symbolism, is there a more quintessential representation of the American Spirit than the Betsy Ross flag?”
Nine Line Apparel wrote that it was “disgusting” that Nike “would be so easily swayed into a false narrative that an iconic patriotic symbol of America’s independence now somehow — over 200 years later — holds racial and divisive undertones.
“The social commentary that Nike is trying to impose on this symbol just shows how dismissive they are of the principles that our country was founded on and how out of touch they are with the values of the American public.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, announced that he would ask the state’s chamber of commerce to pull financial incentives for Nike, which he said is getting ready to make a “major” investment in Goodyear, Arizona.