Donald Trump Jr. slams Nike for pulling Betsy Ross flag sneakers, asks company to use communist symbol instead
The company had pulled its 'Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July' on concerns that it could hurt sentiments of people for its 'connection to an era of slavery.'
Donald Trump Jr. ripped into athletics and sports apparel giant Nike after its decision to pull a sneaker featuring a flag used during the American revolution. The company had designed it to commemorate the July 4 celebrations.
President Trump's eldest son suggested Nike should unveil a communist-style shoe with the hammer-and-sickle insignia of the former Soviet Union after the firm pulled the older version with the erstwhile American flag, Fox News reports.
"If the Betsy Ross Flag, the flag of the American Revolution, is too offensive for Nike to commemorate the 4th of July, maybe, Nike should go with this... seems to be more in line with their views," Trump Jr. tweeted alongside the creative, on Wednesday.
If the Betsy Ross Flag, the flag of the American Revolution, is too offensive for Nike to commemorate The 4th of July maybe Nike should go with this... seems to be more in line with their views. pic.twitter.com/prAyOwTOau— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 3, 2019
The Trump scion chimed in as Nike faced major backlash over its decision to not release the shoe because it could 'unintentionally offend' people.
"NIKE made the decision to halt distribution of the 'Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July' based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday", as per a statement obtained by Fox News on Tuesday.
According to multiple reports, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick played a significant role in the company's decision. He reportedly told Nike the use of the Betsy Ross flag was offensive, considering 'its connection to an era of slavery'.
Nike's decision after Kaepernick's alleged intervention resounded way beyond the footwear industry.
Governor of Arizona Doug Ducey took a radical step to pull funding for Nike's planned move to the state.
That said, Nike's cancellation became a major talking point.
“After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. 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 Wall Street Journal reported, citing multiple resources.
After being pulled from retailers, the new line of sneakers was taken down by secondary markets such as GOAT and StockX, where the shoes had been reselling for over $1,000, Complex reported.
"At GOAT Group, we serve a diverse community of over 15M members. As the largest sneaker marketplace in the world, the safety and integrity of that community is our utmost priority. We understand the potential for the sneaker to be seen as offensive, and have since removed it from all of our platforms," GOAT said in a statement.
At the same time, Nike was slammed by several members of Congress, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who vowed never to purchase their products after the incident.
"They’ve now decided their shoes represent snide disdain for the American flag. Since they don’t want my business anymore, I won’t buy any more. Can anyone recommend a good sneaker co that’s not so woke?" Cruz quipped in a tweet on Tuesday.