Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to buy the “first order” if Nike chooses to change their mind over a controversial pair of sneakers.
The Betsy Ross flag has captured attention in recent days after Nike decided to pull shoes that would have the old version of the American flag on them after reportedly being told to by former National Football League player Colin Kaepernick that the shoes are offensive, according to reports.
Nike nixed their Air Max 1 USA that was created for the Fourth of July celebration, which had the Betsy Ross flag on the heel.
The move by the athletic giant caught the attention of McConnell, who said he’d “make the first order”:
“If we’re in a political environment where the American flag has become controversial to Americans, I think we’ve got a problem. I hope Nike either releases these shoes or some other shoe maker picks up the flag, puts it on a pair of shoes and starts selling it. I’ll make the first order.”
However, some Democrats are applauding Nike’s decision.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) — a critic of Trump on immigration — declared that the athletic company was “doing the right thing” by pulling the shoes and said they “represent the best of our American values,” as IJR Red reported.
“I was glad to see that. And my hope is that they didn’t just do it to do it. They understand the significance there. And look, there are a lot of things in our history that are still very painful. The Confederate Flag that still flies in some places, and is used as a symbol. And I believe we need to move towards an inclusive America that understands that pain.”
On the flip side, a veteran-owned company, Nine Line Apparel, is swiping back at Nike by offering limited-time apparel with the Betsy Ross American flag on it.
“We find it disgusting that Nike, a company named after the Goddess of victory, would be so easily swayed into a false narrative that an iconic patriotic symbol of America’s independence now somehow – over 200 years later – holds racial and divisive undertones,” the company wrote on their website.
They continued, “The social commentary that Nike is trying to impose on this symbol just shows how dismissive they are of the principles that our country was founded on and how out of touch they are with the values of the American public.”