Nike has chosen to stand by its decision to pull its Fourth of July sneakers from stores. This move has once again drew criticism from lawmakers claiming political correctness has gone too far. Nike released the following statement Yesterday (7/2)
“We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products and services. Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday,”
The Air Max 1 USA was intended as a celebration of U.S. Independence Day, with a flag that featured 13 white stars in a circle on the heel. The flag was created by Betsy Ross, an upholsterer in Philadelphia who has been credited for sewing the first star and stripes flag in 1776, during the Revolution. The design recently has taken another meaning for some Americans such as Colin Kaepernick, which he claimed it as a symbol of an era when slavery was still predominant in the U.S.
Many politicians have chimed in on this issue such as Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, tweeted that he was “embarrassed” for Nike and said he had “ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars” that the state was planning to offer the company to open a manufacturing plant near Phoenix. Another Senator Ted Cruz tweeted that it’s a good thing Nike “only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag.” Nike has been planning to build a multi-million dollar plant in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, a facility that would employ roughly 500 workers or more within five years of opening. Nike said in an emailed statement that it was still committed to building a manufacturing center that will create 500 new jobs, though it didn’t specifically name Goodyear Arizona.