Happy 4th Of July Controversy

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?





2 comments about "Happy 4th Of July Controversy".
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  1. Nicholas Fiekowsky from (personal opinion), July 3, 2019 at 9:38 a.m.

    One could also argue that Nike's move shows it doesn't value diversity. There are customers and prospects of all races and political affiliation who value the American flag and would have been pleased to purchase the shoes.

  2. Alan COX from Dan Fife Communications and Marketing, July 3, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.

    I have become suspect of companies like NIKE. I find it hard to believe that NIKE would design and produce a shoe with an American Flag attached to the shoe without discussing the elephant in the room. " What will Colin think about our new flag shoe?" I wonder does NIKE retool an attach a picture of Colin. I wonder what might satisify Colin. I would suggest that Colin be added to the design committee so this problem will not happen again.

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