Sen. Ted Cruz Launches 'Walk Away from Nike' Campaign to Boycott Company
Texas Republican calls for action over withdrawal of patriotic 4th of July sneaker
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has launched a "Walk Away From Nike" campaign, to encourage people to boycott the sneaker brand after the left-wing company pulled its “Betsy Ross Flag” shoes designed to celebrate Fourth of July.
“I love America. I stand for the anthem, respect the flag & honor the men & women who fought to defend our Nation. I respect Free Speech & I’m exerting mine,” Cruz tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
“[U]ntil @Nike ends its contempt for those values I WILL NO LONGER PURCHASE NIKE PRODUCTS. #WalkAwayFromNike RT if you agree,” he added.
In another tweet, Cruz wrote: “It’s a good thing @Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag…. @NFL #HappyFourth.”
The Wall Street Journal reports although the shoes in question, the Air Max 1 USA, are already manufactured and ready to ship, Nike abruptly decided to dump the product.
The decision came after one of Nike’s commercial spokesman, failed quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whined that the 13-star flag created by Betsy Ross at the request of George Washington, is connected to the slave era.
Thus far, Cruz’s call for a boycott has over 21,000 comments, 20,000 retweets, and 44,000 likes.
Nike, it appears, has finally crossed the line.
I love America. I stand for the anthem, respect the flag & honor the men & women who fought to defend our Nation. I respect Free Speech & I’m exerting mine: until @Nike ends its contempt for those values, I WILL NO LONGER PURCHASE NIKE PRODUCTS. #WalkAwayFromNike RT if you agree. https://t.co/IvXNTgvlHq— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 2, 2019
On Tuesday, Sen. Cruz said he would never buy Nike products again after the company scrapped its plans to release a "Betsy Ross flag" sneaker following pushback from people "offended" by the design.
The company had planned to release the Air Max 1 USA featuring the design this week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
But Nike reportedly scrapped those plans after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick voiced concerns with the design.
According to the Journal, Kaepernick, who is sponsored by Nike, said the early American flag was an offensive symbol connected to an era of slavery, the newspaper reported.
Nike then asked retailers to return the product.
“We regularly make business decisions to withdraw initiatives, products, and services. NIKE made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday," Nike said in a statement to The Hill.
Nike also touted itself as "a company proud of its American heritage," while highlighting its "continuing engagement supporting thousands of American athletes including the US Olympic team and US Soccer teams" and its employment of 35,000 people in the United States.
The company did not mention whether Kaepernick had been a factor behind its decision to pull the sneakers.
Cruz criticized Nike over its decision on Monday night, saying that it was a "good thing" the company "only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag."
Yep, I own lots of @Nike I’ve been a life-long customer, since I was kid. But they’ve now decided their shoes represent snide disdain for the American flag. Since they don’t want my business anymore, I won’t buy any more. Can anyone recommend a good sneaker co that’s not so woke? https://t.co/XQfO9Dh737— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 2, 2019
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) echoed Cruz's sentiments, lambasting Nike as "anti-American."
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.) said Nike's move amounted to bowing "to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism."
Ducey announced that he would ask the state's chamber of commerce to pull financial incentives for Nike.
He said the company was getting ready to make a "major" investment in Goodyear, Ariz.
Kaepernick in 2016 became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
Many NFL players have participated in the demonstration since then.
While Kaepernick has not played in the NFL for the past two seasons, he continues to have ties with Nike.
He was the face of a Nike "Just Do It" ad campaign that was released in September.