Report: After Kaepernick Complaint, Nike Pulls 'Betsy Ross' Shoe

Company yanks shoe that featured an early version of the American flag
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2019 3:18 AM CDT
Report: After Kaepernick Complaint, Nike Pulls 'Betsy Ross' Shoe
"Uncle Sam" and "Betsy Ross" pose for tourists outside the Betsy Ross House on the day before Flag Day in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/George Widman, Historic Philadelphia)

A patriotic sneaker featuring an early version of the American flag has been abruptly pulled by Nike just days before the Fourth of July—and sources say Colin Kaepernick helped persuade the company to change course. Insiders tell the Wall Street Journal that the former 49ers quarterback, who is one of Nike's most prominent endorsers, told the company that he and others consider the Betsy Ross flag to be offensive because it was from an era of slavery. The flag, which was flown during the American Revolution, features 13 white stars in a circle, representing the 13 colonies. "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 company said in a statement to CNBC. The Journal's sources say Nike shipped the shoes to retailers and did not provide an explanation when it asked stores to return them. (Read more Nike stories.)

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