Nike has walked back its decision to release a red, white and blue version of its Air Max 1 sneakers ahead of the July 4 holiday. According to The Wall Street Journal, that choice was made following concerns raised by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is the face of Nike’s “Just Do It” .
In a statement to CBS News, Nike said it “has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag.” The shoe’s design included a depiction of the “Betsy Ross flag,” which features 13 alternating red and white stripes and 13 stars to represent the original U.S. colonies.
Sources told WSJ that Kaepernick reached out to Nike after photos emerged of the shoes, saying the design could be seen as offensive due to its association with an era of slavery. The flag first emerged in 1792 at a time when lawmakers advocated for the expansion of slavery and formally declared that those born into slavery were slaves for life.
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SOURCE: CBS News, April Siese