Nike said it chose to stop the release of an America-themed sneaker containing a Betsy Ross flag, "based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend" people.
In a statement sent to Fox News on Tuesday, the sportswear giant's global corporate communications director, Sandra Carreon-John, said, "NIKE decided to stop the distribution of Air Max 1 Quick Strike 4th of July based on concerns could unintentionally offend and detract from its patriotic Vacation. "
Ex-NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick apparently played a role in Nike's decision to draw sneakers after they were sent to retailers. Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Kaepernick said he felt the use of the Betsy Ross flag was offensive, with slavery connotations.
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Quote people who are familiar with the matter stated in the paper's report: "After shoe pictures were released online, Kaepernick, a Nike endoser, reached out to company officials who said he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag an offensive symbol because of its connection to a time of slavery. "
Carreon-John did not respond Immediately upon Fox's request to clarify what role Kaepernick had played in the company's decision.
But in the statement, Carreon-John said: "Nike is a company proud of its American heritage and our continued engagement with thousands of American athletes, including the American Olympic team and American football teams."
"We Already employs 35,000 people in the United States and remain committed to creating jobs in the United States, including a significant investment in an additional production center that will create 500 new jobs."
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She added that the company "regularly makes business decisions to withdraw from initiatives, products and services."
The sneaker had been slated to be released Monday said it would cost $ 140.
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Kaepernick, the former quarterback who famous and controversial train a knee for the folk song started in 2016, was called the face of Nike's recent campaign "Just Do It" last year. Following the announcement, Nike & # 39; s share initially fell more than 3 percent before online revenue increased.
Fox News & # 39; Liam Quinn contributed to this report.