Black Pastors Ask Nike To Cut Ties With Kaepernick After Betsy Ross Flag Fiasco

Black pastors group tells Nike that Colin Kaepernick represents "radical anti-American sentiment."

Henderson, NV - The Coalition of African American Pastors has called on Nike to reinstate its Betsy Ross flag shoes that were never released after former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick objected to them.

Kaepernick threw a stink during 4th of July week and claimed that Nike’s Independence Day shoe was racist and offensive.

The sneaker featured an early version of the American flag – known as the Betsy Ross flag – on the heels.

The American Revolution-era flag design dates back to the 1770s, and has a circle of 13 stars and stripes representing the original 13 colonies.

Nike posted images of the sneakers online ahead of their scheduled release, and had already shipped the shoes to retailers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

When Kaepernick saw photos of the sneakers, he contacted the company to complain that it was offensive to use a symbol that stemmed back to an era of slavery in the United States.

The company abruptly asked merchants to return the shipments of $140 shoes, but provided no explanation as to why.

Numerous other shoe and apparel companies responded to the ridiculous scenario by quickly creating for sale numerous items that featured the Betsy Ross flag.

Coalition of African American Pastors President Reverend Bill Owens sent a letter to Nike attached to an online petition asking the company to reinstate the cancelled shoe, the Commercial Appeal reported.

"Removing the Betsy Ross flag shoes at his behest implies that your company shares his negative view of America, its founders, and the woman who designed the first flag," Owens wrote. "... For a long time, sport has been something that brings Americans together. Nike has been one of the companies we associate with 'Team USA.' Please don’t tarnish that legacy by continuing to cater to anti-American politics."

“Many of us marched in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and have an established record of civic activism,” the letter continued. “We represent a variety of races, ethnicities, and creeds. And we agree that Mr. Kaepernick’s views on America and the flag are fringe opinions, not shared by any of us … especially the African Americans who marched against segregation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact, we find Mr. Kaepernick’s views to be ill-informed and offensive, especially to veterans and others who have served this country.”

“Mr. Kaepernick does not represent us. Moreover, he has tainted our view of your brand. Removing the Betsy Ross flag shoes at his behest implies that your company shares his negative view of America, its founders, and the woman who designed the first flag,” he wrote.

“How can we purchase merchandise for ourselves or our families from a company that holds those views of our country?” Owens’ letter asked.

“If this is not the case, we urge you to make it clear that you respect the American flag, its people, and its Founders,” the pastor wrote, giving the shoe company an out. “We ask that you sever your relationship with Mr. Kaepernick, who has become synonymous with radical anti-American sentiment. And we ask that you make amends to veterans by producing a select run of the Betsy Ross shoes for the benefit of veterans groups and organizations that help military families.”

Owens told the Commercial Appeal that a petition on his coalition’s website that asks Nike to end its relationship with Kaepernick was gaining momentum.

“We just don’t feel that it was fair that they would pull this flag because [Kaepernick] opposed it — because he opposes a lot of things," the pastor said. "We love this country, we love the flag and we love most things about this country, whereas there are some people who just find something to complain about anything.”

​Joseph Murphy, a retired police officer who now runs patriotic apparel company Warrior 12, incorporates the flag in many of the company's shirt designs. (DISCLOSURE: Warrior 12 produces official Blue Lives Matter shirts and gear and the proceeds support Blue Lives Matter. )

Disgusted that an international brand continues to listen to Kaepernick about what Murphy calls "non-existent issues," he decided to release new shirts which incorporate both the Betsy Ross flag and support for law enforcement.

Warrior 12's Thin Blue Line Betsy Ross Flag

Murphy was outspoken immediately after he heard how Nike was disrespecting the Betsy Ross flag.

"There's nothing racist about this flag," Murphy explained to Blue Lives Matter. "The problem is that racial identitarians like Kaepernick tend to see everything through the lens of racism."

"It's getting to the point where any American who is proud of their country is being viewed as racist. It's madness," Murphy added.

"Unlike Nike, we're not going to cater to these race-obsessed wackjobs," Murphy said.

Comments (46)
No. 1-23
dcoskrey
dcoskrey

Thank you to this coalition for standing up to Nike and Kaepernick over this ridiculous nonsense. Kaepernick is a joke, who would have imagined in a million years that Nike would have bought into it.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

Kaepernick is a has been and is an idiot himself. Good they are finally asking to cut ties. And the right people too. Then it won’t be deemed as “racist”.

bill fuse
bill fuse

KaperWho? Man o man. Having served 22 yrs as a Navy Seabee, I promise you, I do not care about the color of a mans skin. Just get we done! Just had lunch this week with one of my best buddies and his family, who are different, and not of my paleskin shade. These ‘modern day’ activists have no idea of real civil right marches. Thank you Pastor Owens for taking a stand. (So rev Al and Jessie...where do u stand?)

trainbuff
trainbuff

Finally, a real reverend who gets it! Amen my brother! I'll gladly march along side you any day.

PositiveThoughts
PositiveThoughts

An as usual misleading article. They are an anomaly. Sellouts don't count. Not one legitimate Black pastor stands with them.

hawkmon
hawkmon

Will this story be picked up by the mainstream media & when?

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

"We love this country, we love the flag and we love most things about this country, whereas there are some people who just find something to complain about anything.” Hopefully the MSM will run with this story and Nike will fix their earlier mistake by hiring and listening to their spokesman

robocop95
robocop95

Amen!

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

GOD BLESS these pastors!

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

God Bless these Pastors and Joseph Murray! I am so tired of hearing about Kaperdick I pray the just fades away as a nobody!

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

I wonder what history will say 5 yrs from now about Colonoscopy Kapernick?

.....likely that he was just a pain in the ass.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Nike needs to step up and do the right to thing!

Dixiedamit
Dixiedamit

"It's getting to the point where any American who is proud of their country is being viewed as racist. It's madness," Murphy added. Such a true statement ! Wish they could bring everyone together on the many other issues...

jimmer1
jimmer1

Who does Kaepernick have a job with???? Exactly "no one" pretty much sums it up

magnumforc
magnumforc

Assholes like Kaepernick degrade every race, color not withstanding. Kudos to the Black Pastors for standing up for America. Put Kaepernick on the shelf instead of the shoes!

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

The pastor is saying the right things! It is up to Nike to DO the right things now!! Kaepernick does not share my views nor those of most other people.

new2lv2
new2lv2

Thank you Reverend Bill Owens for your work in the 60's, and your work now for our country. Thank you as well for you work in our local community.

Marxest
Marxest

While I agree that the Betsy Ross flag itself isn't "racist" and perhaps NIKE should maybe release those cool "patriotic" shoes. But I doubt that this "Coalition of Black Pastors" have any real power or influence over the purchasing power or habits over their respective congregations, especially the youth. I doubt very much that these Pastors are the ones buying $250 Air Jordans by the stacks. Its young folk who contribute to Nike coffers, not pastors of any creed or ethnicity. As for Colin Kaepernick representing "Radical Anti American sentiment", give me a break. Mr Kaepernick engages in peaceful protest and has committed no crime or expressed no racial animosity or claims of racial superiority. Donald Trump has the strong support of white racist/nationalists a group that stokes racial animosity and shouts claims of racial superiority has routinely engaged in crime and all manner of brutal violence throughout American history. That racist element would and should be called "radical anti american sentiment" except that racism is an elemental part of America. But any way, I hope NIKE releases those sneakers and everyone can stop screaming bout them and focus on more important issues.

AppreciateU
AppreciateU

Thank you Pastor Owens & Warrior 12 for standing up for All Americans that are proud of our country & the men & women who serve.

61mouse
61mouse

BAM

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

About time someone stood up and said "enough".

Ginny Beth
Ginny Beth

I went to the Blue Lives Matter webpage to check it out and learned that the commercial Kaepernick did for Nike is nominated for best commercial of 2019! I don't understand why such a giant company would give so much power to one individual. That's crazy. It's also crazy to cancel a shoe that sold for $140.00. I am thankful for the leadership of this Coalition and will sign the petition.