Nike pulls 4th of July sneaker amid Colin Kaepernick’s complaints of racism

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Shoemaker Nike pulled its new 4th of July sneakers just before they were supposed to hit store shelves on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the pull of the 4th of July Air Max 1 sneaker comes after a complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who raised concerns that the Betsy Ross flag logo featured on the sneakers glorifies slavery and racism.

Nike's sudden decision to withdraw the product touched off a lively debate across the country about patriotism and political correctness.

"I don't think it's racist. I don't think it's linked to slavery," says Art Herman, of Levittown. "I think it was that period in time."

The shoe features an early version of the American flag showing 13 stars in a circle to represent the original 13 colonies.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the famous flag during the American Revolution in 1777, a time when slavery existed.

For many, it is merely a relic of 18th century American history. But the flag has in recent years cropped up in association with racist ideologies. 

Long Island Republican Rep. Pete King blasted Nike's decision on Instagram, calling it "an absolute disgrace and ultimate display of moral cowardice."

"White nationalists organizations like the KKK and Nazi-leaning groups, they do use it as a proxy," says Dr. Perry Greene, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Adelphi University.

Most Long Islanders News 12 spoke with say Nike bowed to political correctness and historical revisionism.

"It's the history of the United States. Can't change it," says Lydia Kaboolian, of Syosset. "What happened, happened."

Nike's decision to pull the sneaker is coming at a price. The governor of Arizona has already since announced that his state will pull millions of dollars in financial incentives from the company to build a new plant in Arizona.

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Dog Day Fridays for Aug. 16

    Dog Day Fridays for Aug. 16

    Friday, August 16 2019 10:50 AM EDT2019-08-16 14:50:30 GMT
    Faith is a sweet, 6-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of love to give. Faith is very affectionate when she bonds with her human friends. Faith loves to curl up next to you and even sit in your lap for love!Faith is a sweet, 6-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of love to give. Faith is very affectionate when she bonds with her human friends. Faith loves to curl up next to you and even sit in your lap for love!
    Faith is a sweet, 6-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of love to give. Faith is very affectionate when she bonds with her human friends. Faith loves to curl up next to you and even sit in your lap for love!Faith is a sweet, 6-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of love to give. Faith is very affectionate when she bonds with her human friends. Faith loves to curl up next to you and even sit in your lap for love!
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bobbi and the Strays. The shelter is located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport. Their phone number is (516) 378-4340.
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bobbi and the Strays. The shelter is located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport. Their phone number is (516) 378-4340.
  • Memories of Woodstock on its 50th anniversary

    Memories of Woodstock on its 50th anniversary

    Thursday, August 15 2019 2:10 PM EDT2019-08-15 18:10:36 GMT
    The three-day festival of love and music featured some of the biggest musical names from the summer of love, including Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and The Who.
    The three-day festival of love and music featured some of the biggest musical names from the summer of love, including Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and The Who.
  • Guide: Thrilling roller coasters in the tri-state area

    Guide: Thrilling roller coasters in the tri-state area

    THE JOKER is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.THE JOKER is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.
    THE JOKER is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.THE JOKER is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.

    Looking for some excitement this summer? Check out some of these thrilling and extreme roller coasters, all located in the tri-state area.

    Looking for some excitement this summer? Check out some of these thrilling and extreme roller coasters, all located in the tri-state area.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."