Just in time for the Fourth of July, a controversy involving a marketer, a pair of sneakers that you’ll never get to wear and the so-called Betsy Ross flag—the U.S. flag that dates back to 1776.
You know, the one with a circle of 13 white stars each representing one of the original 13 states.
Apparently, Nike was all set to market new sneakers adorned with a replica of the aforementioned flag when brand ambassador and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick raised objections because of the flag’s association with America’s racist past. Back then, slavery was legal in all 13 colonies.
Nike decided Kaepernick had a point and cancelled the new sneakers. When I usually think of the Betsy Ross flag, I think of our country’s fight for independence. Nike and Kaepernick rightfully remind us it’s a lot more complicated than that.
Arizona Governor Douglas Ducey was so incensed at Nike’s pivot, based on Kaepernick’s input, he cancelled a tax incentive package designed to bring a big new Nike factory to the state.
I wonder how many jobs get cancelled with that reactionary decision?