Cruz: Nike Only Wants to Sell Shoes to People who ‘Hate the American Flag’

Ted Cruz
Getty Images/Alex Wroblewski

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed Nike’s decision to pull its “Betsy Ross flag” shoes, concluding that the company is only interested in selling sneakers to people who “hate the American flag.”

“It’s a good thing @Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag…. @NFL,” Cruz tweeted, making a clear reference to the national anthem kneeling controversy that dominated the league in 2016 and beyond. 

Cruz later pointed out that he was a life-long Nike customer but will not be purchasing any more from the company

“I won’t buy any more. Can anyone recommend a good sneaker co that’s not so woke?” he asked.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Nike opted to drop the “Betsy Ross flag” sneakers after Colin Kaepernick – the face of the company’s “Just Do It” ad campaign last year – reportedly expressed concerns over the flag’s “offensive” symbolism.

As WSJ reported:

The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.

After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike asked for them to be returned without explaining why, the people said. The shoes aren’t available on Nike’s own apps and websites.

‘Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,’ a Nike spokeswoman said.

After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery, the people said. Some users on social media responded to posts about the shoe with similar concerns. Mr. Kaepernick declined to comment.

Cruz was not the only GOP lawmaker to lambaste Nike’s decision.

“Nike thinks American flag is symbol of oppression? What planet are you on?” GOP Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) also weighed in with an op-ed featured on Breitbart News, addressing “spoiled brat football player” Colin Kaepernick’s complaints.

On Tuesday morning, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) announced that he ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to “withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate” there.

“Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history,” he added.

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