After Taking Colin Kaepernick’s Advice, Pulling Shoes Featuring Betsy Ross Flag, Nike’s Market Value Increases By Billions
More proof that doing the right thing, instead of the easy thing, often leads to big wins.
Update (July 13, 2019): In the days following calls for a Nike Boycott by right-wing reactionaries, the shoe company's stocks have been trending upward.
Former QB Colin Kaepernick urged Nike to cancel a fourth of July themed shoe featuring the Betsy Ross flag. The flag representing the original 13 colonies was eventually co-opted by white supremacist groups. The “Air Max 1 USA” sneakers were pulled from store shelves.
To no one's surprise, conservative critics launched a boycott in response. Like so many other boycotts, the right-wing outrage fell flat.
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Forbes now reports Nike has seen a 2% stock increase after the supposed boycott which translates to nearly $3 billion in market value. Nearly a week later, stocks are steadily climbing up.
Original: Former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick persuaded Nike not to release shoes featuring the Betsy Ross Flag on Monday, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Amid the announcement of the sneaker, Kaep, who is a brand ambassador, and other critics raised concerns of the design's association with white supremacy.
The limited edition Air Max 1 sneaker has a simple design feature the "Betsy Ross Flag." The flag is made up of 13 red and white stripes and stars representing the first 13 American colonies.
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Update: release is indefinitely postponed. Retailers are being asked to return the shoes to Nike. Celebrate the upcoming #IndependenceDay holiday with these Air Max 1s featuring the flag sewn by Betsy Ross. For a closer look at this upcoming release, tap the link in our bio.
BuzzFeed noted the original American flag, created around the time of the American Revolution, has been co-opted by white supremacists.
While many applauded Nike's support of Kaep, others called the decision an embarrassment. Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona wrote an eight-tweet-long thread lambasting the athletic apparel company. He called the news "a shameful retreat” and claimed Nike “abandoned” American history. Ducey ended his rant with an announcement reportedly severing the state's financial ties with Nike.
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. 8/— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019'
"Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours," he wrote. "I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here."
According to Yahoo Finance, a deal was struck with the town of Goodyear, Arizona, on the same day Nike pulled the shoes. The deal would have been an economic boost to the state by creating a third manufacturing facility in the state. About 505 new jobs would have been available over the next five years. The Republican governor announced the state will break financial ties with Nike in retaliation for the company's decision to pull the Betsy Ross-themed sneakers.
The Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July was set to be released on Monday. Retailing at $110, reselling site StockX reported some consumers were able to purchase a few pairs before they were pulled from shelves.