In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo, a large billboard stands on top of a Nike store showing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, at Union Square in San Francisco. (Photo: AP)
Nike is pulling a flag-themed tennis shoe after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick complained to the shoemaker, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The shoe’s heel has a US flag with 13 white stars in a circle on it, known as the Betsy Ross flag. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the Journal said that Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, told the company he and others found the flag symbol offensive because of its connection to slavery.
The Air Max 1 USA shoe had already been sent to retailers to go on sale this week for the July Fourth holiday, the Journal reports.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey lashed out at Nike’s decision to yank the sneaker, tweeting that he is asking the state’s Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentives 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 wrote.