Nike is pulling sneakers featuring an early American flag after former NFL football player Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe that he and others consider offensive, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday evening, citing people familiar with the matter.
Nike shares were falling less than 1% in premarket trading Tuesday following the news. Shares had closed Monday up nearly 2% and have rallied 15% this year, bringing the retailer’s market cap to about $134.2 billion.
Kaepernick reportedly contacted Nike officials saying he and others felt the “Betsy Ross” flag — featuring 13 stars in a circle — featured on the shoes was linked to a period of slavery. The Betsy Ross flag is one type that was flown during the American Revolution. And the shoes were set to be released in celebration of the July Fourth holiday.
Trying to wipe these shoes from the market, Nike has asked retailers to return the shoes after they were shipped, the WSJ reported. The company did not explain why, the report added. They are currently unavailable on Nike’s mobile apps like SNKRS and its website.
But pairs of the shoes have already made their way to some avid sneakerheads and are available on resale sites like StockX, fetching as much as $2,500, according to StockX’s website. – read more