Nike, the big shoemaker, seems to have a new boss.
For America’s Independence Day, Nike released a new sneaker shoe style with the image of the early U.S. flag stitched by the notorious revolutionary Betsy Ross. It had the familiar red and white stripes and 13 stars in a circle for the original colonies.
Apparently, sales were going well until noted kneeler Colin Kaepernick objected because, well, some of the 13 colonies had slaves at the time and we shouldn’t be knowing that in this Woke era.
Naturally, the mega-company with $36 billion in annual shoe and athletic-wear sales responded to the unemployed NFL player by immediately pulling the patriotic shoe off the market, as the Wall Street Journal first reported (sub).
What else could it do really? He outnumbers the rest of us.
And a company can’t be associated with patriotism these days unless it involves overpaid pro athletes refusing to stand for the National Anthem because, slavery.
Nike’s got itself in a tough spot. A lot of people are angry at the company now for daring to design anything patriotically red, white and blue. And a lot are angry at Nike for caving to the Kaepernick crowd.
And the NFL might not be too happy either with a major uniform/equipment maker re-igniting this PR mess.
Nike hired Kaepernick way back in 2011 before he was benched for poor play as a pro sports icon for an immense undisclosed fee that likely rivals anything the aging journeyman QB could make actually playing football today.
But the company didn’t use him much until last year when it wanted to mark the 30th anniversary of its Just Do It slogan.
So, it paid multiple millions to some still-playing athletes like Le Bron James and Serena Williams and others including Kaepernick, even though he’s no longer Just Doing It.
But there’s another simmering scandal set to go off like Thursday’s fireworks.
Historians don’t like good stories they’re not telling. So, they’ve raised serious questions over the years about whether Ms. Ross was really busily sewing up the first U.S. flag 243 years ago this week when the Declaration of Independence was signed without a photo op.
They suggest there were several flag makers in Philadelphia back then. And Betsy’s only contribution may have been changing the Founding Fathers’ flag design from six-pointed stars to ones with five points because that was easier to sew by hand 13 times.
And maybe 100 years later when Betsy’s story really caught on for the Revolution’s centennial, perhaps it was just wishful patriots who wanted to show women had been revolutionaries too.
Anyway, there was no virtue-kneeling back then, except in church.