Home/Rod Dreher/Woke Capitalism Comes For Betsy Ross

Woke Capitalism Comes For Betsy Ross

She might as well have been sewing a Klan robe, says Nike and Colin Kaepernick (Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock)

There is no limit to corporate wokeness and asininity. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Nike is yanking a U.S.A.-themed sneaker featuring an early American flag after NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive, according to people familiar with the matter.

The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.

After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike asked for them to be returned without explaining why, the people said. The shoes aren’t available on Nike’s own apps and websites.

“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman said.

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 people said. Some users on social media responded to posts about the shoe with similar concerns. Mr. Kaepernick declined to comment.

The design was created in the 1770s to represent the 13 original colonies, though there were many early versions of the America flag, according to the Smithsonian. In 1795, stars were added to reflect the addition of Vermont and Kentucky as states.

Wow. Just, wow. So now the Colonial-era US flag is the equivalent of the Confederate flag for failed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose eccentric preferences allow him to decide what kind of shoes Nike can sell.

This is the stupidest thing. Now we have to despise Colonial America to be in good graces with the Woke Police. I hope Nike loses a ton of money on this. They deserve to. Despicable people, capitulating to this crap. I respected Kaepernick’s right to protest on the field, and honestly, I’m not even mad at him for this, however childish it may be. It’s the fault of the woke executives at Nike, who are so afraid of being unwoke that they are embarrassed by their own country’s historic flag. I would walk barefoot over broken glass before I would buy another pair of Nike shoes.

Trump is going to win again. You know that, right?

UPDATE: In other Woke Capitalism news, Oreos have gone trans. Hydrox for the win!

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about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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