Veteran-owned clothing store, Nine Line Apparel, offered a response to Nike’s controversial move to drop an American Flag-style shoe with their own gear, nodding to the allegedly “offensive” Betsy Ross flag.
Nike’s “Betsy Ross Edition” shoe was reportedly canceled by the company after famed anthem-kneeler and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick complained about the patriotic kicks; the former 49er signed onto a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Nike last year.
“Nike has pulled a Betsy-Ross-themed Fourth of July sneaker after Colin Kaepernick – now a Nike ‘endorser’ – found it offensive,” Nine Line Apparel said in a statement. “In response, Nine Line Apparel, a veteran-owned apparel company, has just released a t-shirt line that proudly features the Betsy Ross flag.”
The apparel store is also “calling on Americans to boycott Nike and to display their patriotism with the hashtag #NoToNike.” As reported by The Daily Wire on Tuesday, a #WalkAwayFromNike boycott gained traction online when Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) similarly asked Americans to refrain from buying Nike goods.
Army CPT (ret.) Tyler Merritt, CEO of Nine Line Apparel, slammed the athletic gear giant for seeking “profit through controversy, but with absolutely no regard for the consequences.”
“In its corporatist wake, it leaves behind anti-American sentiment and division, harming our country,” Merritt said in a statement. “But since Nike has no interest in displaying the Betsy Ross flag, a classic symbol of freedom and unity, then we proudly will.”
“How far Nike has fallen. It was once an iconic American company. Now it can’t even stomach associating itself with one of the greatest moments in our country’s history, when individuals of diverse backgrounds put differences aside to fight tyranny and secure liberty,” the CEO continued. “The American people should support the red, white, and blue and boycott Nike and join our #NoToNike campaign. Nike says ‘just do it.’ We say just stand – stand for your beliefs and for your country.”
Nine Line Apparel launched “Just Stand” t-shirts back in 2016 in response to the Kaepernick-sparked anthem kneeling by NFL players before games.
On Tuesday, the patriotic company released a video post via Twitter addressing the Nike debacle.
“Alright, guys, let’s take a minute to talk about the child that is Colin Kaepernick, once again forcing himself back into the media because he deems something offensive or racist, again,” a spokesman for the company said.
The spokesman then praised one of Nike’s cofounders, who is now deceased, for his WWII heroism. But under the reign of Phil Knight, Nike has gone “way out into left field” with their “progressive agendas” and “kowtowing to social justice warriors,” he said.
“Unacceptable,” the spokesman continued. “Here, we’re all about your right to protest, we’re all about your right to free speech, but we’re not about speech being suppressed because somebody finds it offensive.”
Related: BACKLASH: Boycott Gains Steam After Nike Drops American Flag Shoe At Colin Kaepernick’s Behest