WASHINGTON — Nike has pulled plans to roll out around Independence Day sneakers with the U.S. flag from the American Revolution. The Wall Street Journal reports former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others said the flag, featuring the version by flag maker Betsy Ross, is offensive for being connected to the slavery era.
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, has some strong words for the international shoe giant.
“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.” says Hawley on Twitter
Hawley goes on to say Nike is a symbol of everything wrong with the corporate economy. He says the company “takes advantage of U.S. laws but sends jobs overseas for sweatshop wages, partners with repressive regimes, aggressively avoids paying any U.S. taxes, and then tell Americans to shut up and buy their stuff.” Hawley says Nike should apologize to Americans for “denigrating the flag” and apologize to Missourians who lost loved ones defending the flag.
He wants the company to restart production of the shoe at its St. Charles factory in eastern Missouri. The location manufactures plastics for its Air Manufacturing Innovation division. Nearby Wentzville has a Nike warehouse.
In a statement from Nike submitted to Missourinet, the company says it regularly makes business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services. It says Nike stopped distributing the Nike Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July sneakers based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s July 4 holiday.
Nike says it is a company proud of its American heritage and continuing engagement of supporting thousands of American athletes including the U.S. Olympic team and U.S. Soccer teams.
The company employs 35,000 people in the U.S. and says it remains committed to creating American jobs.
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