Last week, news broke that Nike canceled an American flag-style shoe at the behest of famed national anthem kneeler, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who’s a big-name sponsor for the athletic gear brand. Kaepernick apparently found the patriotic shoe, which showcased a Betsy Ross flag, racially “offensive.”
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, the heel of the sneaker has a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, “a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.” Notably, the supposedly racist Revolution era flag was flown during the inauguration of former President Barack Obama.
The move sparked backlash from big-name conservatives, including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who called for a boycott. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, also announced he’d be withdrawing financial incentives promised to Nike.
Popular former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe reiterated via Facebook that Nike and Kaepernick are completely free to pull the patriotic shoe, but emphasized how illogical it is to consider the Betsy Ross flag as racist.
“[W]e can’t deny Kapernick’s right to speak his mind, but we shouldn't ignore the flaws in his thinking,” Rowe wrote in a Facebook post, answering a follower’s question concerning Nike’s actions. “He has argued that the Betsy Ross flag is ‘racist,’ because it flew at a time when slavery was legal in America. By that definition, aren’t crosses are also racist? Weren’t they on churches attended by slave-owning congregants? Why not demand their removal? What about the Bald Eagle? Wasn't our national bird flying around when slaves were held? Why not protest it as well? What about the Great Seal? E Pluribus Unum? The Liberty Bell? It rang countless times while slavery was still the law of the land. Why not demand its removal?”
“Kaepernick's argument is unpersuasive, not because it's unpopular, or unpatriotic. It's unpersuasive because it's completely void of logic,” he noted.
Rowe said he is “proud to stand” for the flag we fly today, praising America’s revolt from Britain and ending slavery.
“I’m tempted on this day to remind you that there’s nothing inherently dangerous about a sneaker company currying favor with a woke athlete, or fellow citizens complaining about displays of patriotism and military might,” he told his followers. “On the other hand, I think Ronald Reagan was right when he said we’re always one generation away from losing the freedoms we currently enjoy. Along with the siren song of socialism, the persistent promise of ‘free’ stuff, and the breathtaking level of censorship on our college campuses, I worry about the growing belief among many that we can somehow improve our present by erasing our past; by toppling statues, outlawing ‘problematic’ symbols, or rewriting specific pieces of our history in ways that leave us feeling less offended.”
Finishing the post, Rowe vaguely touched on critics of President Donald Trump’s Independence Day celebration in D.C. — left-wingers were particularly upset by tanks at the gathering — by quoting author George Orwell: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
H/t The Washington Times