Conservatives are boycotting Nike after it pulled a controversial US flag sneaker, and want a 'not so woke' alternative

StockX Nike Betsy Ross shoes Air Max 1 USA


The controversial Nike Air Max 1 USA, which features the "Betsy Ross" flag.

  • Prominent conservatives announced a boycott on Nike after the company pulled a sneaker featuring an early version of the US flag.
  • Nike pulled the Air Max 1 USA, which featured a depiction of the "Betsy Ross" flag after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick said that he and others found the American flag-themed shoe offensive.
  • They said the 13-starred flag has unwelcome associations with slavery and white supremacy.
  • Conservatives including Sen. Ted Cruz and Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted that they will boycott the sportswear giant over the sneakers being pulled.
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Several prominent conservative figures have announced that will boycott Nike after the company controversially pulled a sneaker featuring a depiction of the so-called "Betsy Ross" flag, an early version of the stars and stripes.

Nike pulled the Air Max 1 USA - which was set to launch this week - after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick said that he and others found the American flag-themed shoe offensive.

Read more: Nike dropped a line of sneakers after its designer risked angering China by supporting mass protests in Hong Kong

The shoe features a version of the with 13 white stars, which was created in the 1770s. Some, including Kaepernick, worried that this specific version of the American flag has links to both slavery and white supremacy.

Soon after Nike announced it would cancel the shoe, conservative figures took to social media to condemn the decision, and make clear that they will no longer buy Nike products.

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that he owns many Nike products, but won't be buying any more, and asked his followers for recommendations of a "good sneaker co that's not so woke."

Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy echoed Cruz's sentiments, posting a video on Twitter where he called on followers to tweet pictures of American flags at him.

"Betsy Ross was a leader who put herself into a history dominated by men, to make a statement of FREEDOM - and that should not be twisted by Nike or anyone else," he said.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri also backed anti-Nike sentiment, calling the company "anti-American," according to The Hill.

Read more: Top sneaker reseller halts sales of the controversial Nike 'Betsy Ross' American flag shoe selling for over $2,000

As well as senior Republican politicians, conservative media personalities joined the boycott, with Fox News host Laura Ingraham saying she will no longer buy Nike sneakers for her or her family.

"No more Nike sneakers for our family," she tweeted.

The conservative boycott is not the first time people have stopped buying Nike products for political reasons. In September 2018, Nike faced a boycott over an ad featuring Kaepernick and the words "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

The ad referenced former NFL quarterback Kaepernick's kneeling during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

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