Colin Kaepernick apparently has plenty of pull within the Nike family.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday night that Nike was pulling a model of the Air Max 1 sneakers that featured the “Betsy Ross flag” after Kaepernick “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 red, white and blue sneakers were being released to celebrate the Fourth of July, and the kicks featured the flag on the heel. The 13-star flag was one of the country’s earliest flags with the 13 stars representing each of the original colonies.
TMZ Sports reported Kaepernick also “took issue with the fact that two prominent white nationalist groups — including the Patriot movement — use the flag as a symbol for their group.”
Kaepernick and Nike have a longstanding relationship dating back to 2011 when Kaepernick was playing quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick’s well-known social protests — including his refusal to stand for the national anthem — have garnered plenty of headlines in recent years, despite the fact he hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016. In 2018, Nike still decided to make him the face of its “Just Do It” 30th anniversary marketing campaign, with Kaepernick reportedly earning “millions” per year in his contract with the sneaker giant.
Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images