In case you haven’t heard the controversy, popular sports brand Nike threw out plans for a patriotic Betsy Ross-themed sneaker after NFL’s Colin Kaepernick – the same player who started the kneeling during the national anthem trend – threw a fit over it.
Now, in response to what they’re calling Nike’s “unpatriotic” decision, Veteran-owned Georgia-based company Nine Lines Apparel is selling Betsy Ross flag t-shirts with parodies of Nike’s own slogans, like “Just Stand,” in reference to both the famous Nike saying “Just Do It” and football players kneeling during the national anthem.
The company is also calling for a widespread boycott of Nike!
Take a look at this awesome response from the American apparel company on Twitter:
Nine Lines Apparel posted a video explaining why they're selling the t-shirts.
Here's some background on why Nike decided to pull the shoe, via The New York Times:
Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.
But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.
On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.
The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.
Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.
Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.
While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.
“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”
The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “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.”
Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”
In a statement Tuesday, the City of Goodyear called the furor “a difficult situation” but said its offer of financial incentives to Nike still stood, as elected officials from New Mexico sought to capitalize on the uncertainty and lure the plant across the state line.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.
Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.
To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”
The Hill has more details about the Betsy Ross flag tees that Nine Lines Apparel is selling in response to Nike:
A Georgia-based clothing company owned and operated by veterans is releasing a new line of shirts featuring the Betsy Ross flag design and calling for a boycott of Nike after the latter company nixed plans to feature the early American flag on sneakers.
Nine Line Apparel unveiled the limited-edition shirts featuring the Ross flag, and others with the words "Just Stand" written in an approximation of the iconic Nike "Just Do It" font, an apparent dig at former NFL star Colin Kaepernick who in 2016 became the first player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
“In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory, symbolized as a divine charioteer, flying over the battlefield to reward the victors,” Nine Line Apparel wrote online. “When it comes to symbolism, is there a more quintessential representation of the American Spirit than the Betsy Ross flag?”
Nike had planned to release the Air Max 1 USA sneaker featuring the early design from Ross with a circle of 13 stars for the 13 colonies this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. But the company reportedly scrapped those plans and pulled the product from stores when Kaepernick, who is sponsored by Nike, voiced concerns about how the symbol was offensive and connected to an era of slavery.
KCBD also had this to say:
ne group who’s upset with Nike right now is the veteran-owned company, Nine Line Apparel.
The clothing store based in Savannah, Ga. has released a new line of shirts with the Betsy Ross flag design and the word “Victory” written in Nike’s signature font. This comes after Nike reportedly pulled 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 U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle on it, known as the Betsy Ross flag.
If you want to buy one of these limited time Betsy Ross t-shirts to show your support, you can find them on the Nine Line Apparel website here.