Sportswear giant Nike has pulled a new design of trainers featuring an early version of the US flag after a complaint from Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL player, over the symbol’s connection to racism.
The Betsy Ross flag featured on the shoe, which was designed to commemorate 4 July, has been used by the American Nazi Party.
Kaepernick, who fronted a Nike advert campaign last year, caused controversy when he began kneeling during the US national anthem at American football in protest against police violence against African Americans.
The former NFL player reportedly told Nike that the symbol, which was created in the American Revolution, was offensive due to its links to the American Nazi Party.
“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
The decision to pull the design has caused some controversy.
Doug Ducey, the governor of Arizona, wrote on Twitter: “Nike is an iconic American brand and American company. This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed them to prosper and flourish.
“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betset Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism”.
However, other social media users said the symbol had been used by racists.