Nike is recalling scores of Fourth of July-themed sneakers featuring the Betsy Ross version of the American flag after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick said that they harken back to an era of slavery.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the shoes had already been shipped to retailers when Nike called them back.
The NAACP says that the Ross flag has been appropriated by some white nationalist groups as a protest against America’s increasing diversity.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) responded angrily to the company’s decision Tuesday morning, saying that he’d withdraw financial incentives for a Nike manufacturing plant scheduled to open outside of Phoenix.
“Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike,” he said in the multiple-tweet statement. “We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”
Today was supposed to be a good day in Arizona, with the announcement of a major @Nike investment in Goodyear, AZ. THREAD—>
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) quickly hopped aboard the bandwagon.
It’s a good thing @Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag…. @NFL #HappyFourth https://t.co/G6w8vDjvLP
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 2, 2019
Nike made Kaepernick the face of an ad campaign last year amid his fighting with the NFL over his national anthem protests.