At least two GOP lawmakers have blasted Nike after the company nixed plans to release an American flag-themed sneaker.
After the company announced the “Betsy Ross flag” sneaker, activist and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick complained about the patriotic design. Kaepernick insisted that the early American flag was offensive because it was connected to a time when slavery was prevalent.
The sneaker design was set to debut this week.
GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) shared their negative sentiments about the company’s move.
On Monday, Cruz tweeted, “It’s a good thing @Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag.”
Hawley weighed in on Tuesday, writing, “Nike thinks American flag is symbol of oppression? What planet are you on? Nike gladly allows Chinese Communist Party to tell it what products to sell while building its business around sweatshop labor. Nike is anti-American, pure & simple.”
He added, “Nike is a symbol of everything wrong with the corporate economy. They take advantage of our laws but send jobs overseas for sweatshop wages, partner w repressive regimes, aggressively avoid paying any US taxes, and then tell Americans to shut up and buy their stuff.”
Previously, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) weighed in on the fray and insisted that he would ask state officials to pull its financial investments for the company. Nike is set to open a manufacturing plant in Arizona.
Ducey also added that Nike was only cowing to “the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism” with the move.
“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” he said. “I am embarrassed for Nike.”
A spokesperson for the company confirmed the news with The Wall Street Journal.
In a statement, the Nike rep said, “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.”