Culture

Nike, the Patriot Flag, and the Kaepernick Rule

The Betsy Ross flag is supposedly "offensive," says an unemployed athlete.

Nate Jackson · Jul. 2, 2019

Colin Kaepernick is up to his anti-American antics again, and Nike made an expensive decision to grovel before its official social-justice warrior. Nike had already shipped its Air Max 1 USA, complete with an embroidered Betsy Ross flag on the back, to mark the upcoming Independence Day holiday. But Nike instructed retailers to return the shoes because it had “an old version of the American flag.” However, The Wall Street Journal reports that decision came after “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 Betsy Ross flag was designed in the 1770s as our Founding Fathers were launching the fight for American independence. Its 13 stars and 13 stripes represented the original colonies and thus the first states. Betsy Ross herself may have even been an abolitionist. But to Kaepernick and his ilk, the flag she made represents not Liberty but racial oppression.

Then again, to Kaepernick, everything about America seemingly represents oppression. He is a minority man, adopted by loving white parents, who parlayed some skill on the football field to a lucrative contract and a Super Bowl appearance with the San Francisco 49ers. When his play became subpar, he was benched — only to begin pouting (kneeling) on the sidelines during the national anthem. Asked about this pathetic display, he “justified” it by saying he was protesting America’s tarnished history of oppression. His protest spread to other NFL players and fomented years of controversy over what was supposed to be a unifying practice before games — standing for the national anthem.

After no NFL team wanted to pay big bucks for a lousy quarterback to run a three-ring circus, he sued the league over “collusion” to blacklist him. He settled for millions of dollars. Then Nike chose the unemployed athlete as its official “Just Do It” spokesman, paying him millions and, aggravatingly, boosting its own sales.

So, Mr. Kaepernick, explain to us again how “oppressed” you are.

As for Nike, last week the company also preemptively bowed to the Chinese government. According to The Financial Times, “Nike has cancelled the sale of a line of limited-edition sports shoes in China after the sportswear maker’s Japanese designer supported recent Hong Kong protests.” Given that Nike produces most of its shoes in the low-wage Communist workers’ paradises of China and neighboring Vietnam, it’s little wonder that it is careful to avoid offending the party poobahs in Beijing. And that’s entirely consistent with Nike’s catering to the wishes of totalitarian leftists here in the “Land of the Free.”

(Updated.)

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