Alveda King says Colin Kaepernick 'doesn't understand who Betsy Ross is' after Nike pulls flag sneakers

Alveda King says Colin Kaepernick 'doesn't understand who Betsy Ross is' after Nike pulls flag sneakers

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s conservative niece, Alveda King, suggested that the former NFL player Colin Kaepernick may not be familiar with Betsy Ross.

In a recent interview, she said the famous flag-maker may not even have been the one who designed the original American flag.

King's statement came in the wake of the recent Nike controversy that led to the sports brand pulling its Betsy Ross flag-themed shoes from the market after Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, called the design 'offensive'.

The 31-year-old quarterback, after seeing the sneaker design online, said the old American flag on the sneaker was offensive because of its links to the era of slavery, according to The Wall Street Journal.

King, a pro-life advocate and Trump supporter, while making an appearance on Fox Business, said she was not sure if 'brother Kaepernick' understood who Betsy Ross was.


(AFP OUT) President Donald Trump delivers remarks with Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., after touring the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture on February 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

"I am not so sure brother Kaepernick even totally understands who Betsy Ross is," King said on Wednesday.

"It's kind of unfortunate that we are fighting over sneakers when we should be celebrating living in the best country on the planet." 

The Betsy Ross flag, which features 13 white stars in a blue canton representing the 13 original US colonies, was created during the American revolution.

Lawmakers, at the time, had advocated the expansion of slavery and declared that those born into slavery were slaves for lives.
The flag, in recent times, has been appropriated by several extremist groups who are opposed to the increasing diversity in the country.

King, through her statements, also indicated that her grandfather, father, and uncle understood and practiced peaceful conflict resolution while gathering facts about the issue.


A billboard featuring former San Francisco 49ers quaterback Colin Kaepernick is displayed on the roof of the Nike Store on September 5, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Getty Images)

"If you take a knee, do a prayer in the process," she said. "You educate your public, you examine your own soul, you sit down, and you talk."

She was making a reference to Nike's ad campaign, released in September last year, featuring Kaepernick and his historic decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.

King said that the country had more important issues to focus on, especially, 'the babies being aborted in the womb', adding that 'restoration, renewal, forgiveness, and communication' were more effective ways to achieve progress.

King, talking about the controversial Nike shoes, said that, although she liked the sneakers, 'Betsy Ross may or may have not designed the flag' emblazoned on the sneakers.


"Unfortunately, Nike decided to join in a fight, in a struggle, that further divides rather than reconciles. I think love always wins the day, but we have to get there," she said.

Nike Air shoes with the controversial flag emblazoned on it. (Nike)

The sneakers, called Air Max 1 USA, were set to go on sale this week for $140 and Nike had already shipped the shoes to retailers.

However, the firm asked for the shoes to be returned.

Nike, in a statement, had said: "Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation's patriotic holiday. Nike is a company proud of its American heritage."


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