2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Julián Castro (D) commended Nike for their controversial move nixing the sale of Betsy Ross flag-themed sneakers.
During an interview with CBS on Wednesday, Castro — who has called for decriminalizing illegal immigration during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination — was asked for his reaction to the shoe giant’s pulling of American Revolution flag-themed shoes after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick claimed the shoes were offensive, according to reports.
Castro said that he was “glad to see” the move by Nike and that he hoped the company saw “the significance there” instead of doing it just “to do it.”
“I was glad to see that and my hope is that that they didn’t just do it to do it, that they understand the significance there. And, look, there are a lot of things in our history that are still very painful,” said the former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary.
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Castro continued on to say that certain things like the “Confederate flag,” are still being “used as a symbol” in some parts of the country and that he believed “that we need to move towards an inclusive America” that “understands that pain” brought on by the symbols.
“The Confederate flag that still flies in some places and is used as a symbol, and I believe that we need to move toward an inclusive America that understands that pain, that doesn’t wipe it away from history in the sense that still belongs in a museum or we need to read about it and understand the significance. Because that’s how you learn and make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes in the future, but does not glorify it, does not celebrate it.”
According to reports, one of Castro’s 2020 primary opponents and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) echoed the former HUD secretary’s sentiments, saying that he thinks it is “really important to take into account the impression that kind of symbol would have for many of our fellow Americans.”
Beto on the Nike/Betsy Ross flag controversy: "I think its really important to take into account the impression that kind of symbol would have for many of our fellow Americans, respect the decision Nike made and grateful for the conversation [that it is provoking]
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) July 3, 2019
Castro’s comments came as Nike faces scrutiny for their controversial move.