In order to celebrate the Fourth of July, Nike released a pair of shoes that had the Betsy Ross flag on it. Looking at the shoes, you wouldn't think that they would cause any controversy, but former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not think the same. Colin Kaepernick is most known for his protest against the American anthem by kneeling during it. Kaepernick believes that the Betsy Ross flag represents a time of black oppression and slavery. The Betsy Ross flag was used during a time of segregation and in the propaganda of the Ku Klux Klan. Nike immediately pulled the shoes off the market to avoid offending the public, but this move ultimately offended the more conservative fans of Nike.
Some people are supportive of Nike's move. Politicians such as Julian Castro and Beto O'Rouke support the move as the Betsy Ross flag does carry negative implications. Others believe that this is a form of trying to erase parts of history by talking about only the negatives it brings. This move by Nike makes the Betsy Ross seem like a hate symbol. Ted Cruz expressed his dismay by tweeting, "It's a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag." Tomi Lahren even called Kaepernick a "disgrace." People were also quick to judge Nike over how much control Kaepernick's opinion had over the company. Whatever Colin said to do goes which is understandable since he is one of the main brand ambassadors for them.
The whole situation is a slippery slope. The United States can't deny the racial oppression it had (or may still have) and the issue of slavery, but it can't go back in time to change any of it. It's a stain on our history that we acknowledge and have to live with. It's truly a shame that the Betsy Ross flag is affiliated with white supremacy and can cause some to feel bad about it. Situations like this really show how closely tied politics are to almost anything we do.