Bulletin
Investor Alert

The Wall Street Journal Archives | Email alerts

July 1, 2019, 7:46 p.m. EDT

Nike pulls ‘Betsy Ross flag’ sneaker after Colin Kaepernick says it was offensive

Sneakers recalled from retailers; flag connected to era of slavery

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    Nike Inc. Cl B (NKE)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Khadeeja Safdar and Andrew Beaton


Bloomberg News
The Nike Inc. logo is displayed in the window of a concept store in West Hollywood, Calif.

Nike Inc. is yanking a U.S.A.-themed sneaker featuring an early American flag after former NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive, according to people familiar with the matter.

The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.

After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike /zigman2/quotes/203439053/composite NKE -0.49%   asked for them to be returned without explaining why, the people said. The shoes aren’t available on Nike’s own apps and websites. “Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman said.

After images of the shoe were posted online, Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery, the people said. Some users on social media responded to posts about the shoe with similar concerns. Kaepernick declined to comment.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

Also popular on WSJ.com:

American suburbs swell again as a new generation escapes the city.

A core of the college admissions scandal was built at elite Florida sports academy.

/zigman2/quotes/203439053/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 100.45
-0.49 -0.49%
Volume: 4.06M
Aug. 6, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
63.60
Dividend Yield
0.98%
Market Cap
$157.45 billion
Rev. per Employee
$529,466
loading...

Get news alerts on Nike Inc. Cl B — or create your own.
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Industries

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.