Nike cancels American flag sneaker after Colin Kaepernick complains.
What We Know:
- Nike was set to release an Air Max One that was red, white, and blue. On the back of the shoe was the Betsy Ross version of the American flag. Nike made the decision to remove the shoes from stores within days of Kaepernick’s disapproval.
- Nike and Kaepernick have been working very closely since they made him the face of their campaign in September 2018. Nike chose to work with him after he was released from the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem. This act caught fire amongst the nation making Kaepernick the forefather of silent demonstrations during the national anthem.
- Although the former football player wasn’t directly involved in the production of the shoes, his concerns were enough to make Nike reevaluate the design. Kaepernick has become an activist, and hiss kneeling during the national anthem was to honor those who have lost their lives to police brutality and to remember the constant fight against racism in the country. It is for the latter reason that he felt the need to speak on the design. He felt the design was associated with an era of slavery and it’s adaptation by certain extremist groups.
- On Tuesday, Nike made a statement saying they’re “proud of it’s American Heritage” and the decision was made “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” Despite being an endorser of Nike, Kaepernick wasn’t sent the shoe, nor was he part of the release.
Many expressed concern for Nike’s decision, but the company felt the shoe would ultimately hurt the brand.