Issues & Insights

This Independence Day, Nike Appeases America Haters and Dictators

I&I Editorial

Want a sign that the left is now bringing ruin to the business world, after it has done the same for the education and entertainment industries? Look no further than Nike.

Days before the U.S. celebrates Independence Day, Nike pulled sneakers back from retailers that contained a small image of the famous Betsy Ross flag on the back.

Apparently that small homage to America’s founding offended the delicate sensibilities of Colin Kaepernick, the reprehensible leftist former football player who protested the national anthem, whose idea of appropriate footwear is socks depicting police officers as pigs, and who prefers shirts honoring Cuba’s murderous dictator Fidel Castro.

This is a guy who once tweeted a picture of a police badge next to a “fugitive slave patrol” badge, with the words “You can’t ignore your history – always remember who they are.”

But, when Kaepernick whined to Nike that Betsy Ross had stitched the flag while slavery was still in force in America, and so shouldn’t be displayed in public, Nike pulled the shoes off the market.

Nike’s pathetic statement was that it did so “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”

Wait. We can’t show off the flag that symbolizes America’s liberation from tyranny on the day that celebrates the Declaration of Independence, because it might “unintentionally offend” some people?

The college snowflakes who insist on trigger warnings and safe spaces and coloring books any time they came across an idea that they don’t like have now taken control of corporate America.

The absurdity of Nike’s decision comes into greater focus when you realize that, while it’s sanctimoniously portraying Kaepernick as a paragon of free speech, it’s helping the Chinese government crack down on dissent.

The same week that Nike pulled the Betsy Ross sneaker here, it was pulling products in China after its designer, Jun Takahashi, expressed support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.

“So the Chinese government and Colin Kaepernick, then, are either implicitly or explicitly calling the shots at Nike, pressuring the company into making business decisions to cater either to this mob or that,” National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis correctly observed.

How long does Nike think it can intentionally offend patriotic Americans before enough consumers realize they can buy shoes from companies that don’t belittle their beliefs?

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • I do not understand why anyone cares about what this failed football player thinks about any topic. He seems to be intoxicated with the attention he’s received and is treating Nike like a personal servant that has do satisfy his every wish. For them to support his claim that Betsy Ross and the original flag of the 13 Colonies/USA is ‘racist’ is the absolute height of leftist lunacy. It is time for them to dump this guy before he destroys their brand.

  • Welcome back!!!
    I just about plotzed when I happened to come across Monica Showalter’s piece in American Thinker alerting your old fans (and hopefully new ones) to the I&I website by former IBD staff.
    Your op-eds/editorials are so missed. No more!
    Happy 4th of July.

  • This Isn’t About Sneakers, But People Who Want “No USA At All”

    So if the pledge is oppression, the flag is racist, George Washington is racist, Betsy Ross didn’t exist, the anthem is racist, “God Bless America” is racist by association… where does that leave the US?

  • Maybe QB “K” should do the research on his African ancestors……like which African tribe was glad enough to sell his distant relatives to the white slave traders. Lets start back there where the slave trade actually began.

  • There are a couple of things odd about this whole sneakers story.

    First of all, doesn’t the shoe company use abusive labor practice type sweatshops? Why not hang the shoe company out to dry over that?

    Then, the shoe company already demonstrated that their sentiments lie with anti-American CK in a very high profile, in-your-face, advertisement which threw traditional Americans under the bus. So for what reason would they have any motivation at all to do a patriotic image? Other than maybe to set this whole thing up again with CK? Seems like naught but a publicity stunt to promote sales to that side.

    Finally, it seems so very odd that when other huge companies are in the media, peoples’s names are bandied about. The founders of google, facebook’s founder, the ceo of apple, of twitter, etc. This nike story never ever seems to feature the ceo, or chief’s name. Wonder why?

  • This virtue signaling has gotten absurd. The Left act like children. How can anyone align with such hateful and destructive actions?

  • Looks like Kaepernick is the new master and Nike Corp is his slave.

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