Nike faces serious backlash as Senator Ted Cruz encouraged his followers to #WalkAwayFromNike in a Twitter post after the athletic gear company dropped an American flag-style shoe, apparently at the behest of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
“I love America. I stand for the anthem, respect the flag & honor the men & women who fought to defend our Nation,” Cruz tweeted on Tuesday morning. “I respect Free Speech & I’m exerting mine: until [Nike] ends its contempt for those values, I WILL NO LONGER PURCHASE NIKE PRODUCTS.”
“#WalkAwayFromNike [retweet] if you agree,” added the senator.
Cruz was responding to his own post from a day earlier, which said: “It’s a good thing [Nike] only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag.”
His tweet quickly went viral, garnering nearly 11,000 retweets, and more than 23,000 likes.
On Monday night, “The Betsy Ross Flag” edition shoe was canceled by Nike after Colin Kaepernick, who signed a multi-million dollar sponsorship with the company last year, complained about the “offensive” sneaker design.
The shoe included a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle on the heel of the sneaker, “a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.”
Following Cruz’s tweet, other Twitter users joined the boycott:
“Ted, you’re right! In sane American, regardless of politics, should #WalkAwayFromNike ….what an idiotic disgrace!” radio host Michael Medved agreed.
“Nike pulling your shoes with the Betsy Ross flag marginalizes the contribution of iconic America women. I stand for the values our flag represent. #walkawayfromnike,” one woman wrote.
“Nike has become ridiculous. There are plenty of clothing companies that don’t get mixed up with identity politics,” another user said. “Dump Nike stock and clothes. #walkawayfromnike,” other user tweeted.
“Never going to buy from Nike again. I can not give my money to an unpatriotic company.
#walkawayfromnike” another Twitter user added.
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