Colin Kaepernick input reportedly influences Nike to cancel sale of Betsy Ross American flag shoes

He may not have played a down of football in years, but Colin Kaepernick still manages to move the needle, especially when it comes to matters of the American flag. It has reportedly happened yet again, with Kaepernick drawing both the praise and ire of people around the country thanks to his part in the cancellation of a Nike shoe that featured an older version of the American flag.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Nike initially planned to release an Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July shoe that could basically be called the "Betsy Ross" edition of their Air Max 1 Quick Strike shoe. 

The shoe was red, white and blue and featured on the back the original American flag (a.k.a. The Betsy Ross), which has 13 stars in a circle and 13 alternating red and white stripes, designed to represent the 13 original American colonies. 

Many reacted negatively to the shoe, which has been shipped to some manufacturers. The Journal reports that Kaepernick reached out to Nike, noting that the original flag carried a "connection to an era of slavery." The flag has also been adopted for use by some extremist groups in America. 

Kaepernick declined comment to the Journal, but Nike confirmed the older version of the flag was the reason for the cancellation. 

"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 Journal.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, when he first began taking a seat during the anthem before games to protest racial inequality in America. He would later be convinced by former Green Beret Nate Boyer to take a knee, sparking even further controversy.

In 2017, hundreds of NFL players protested in games for the first few weeks of the season, following comments by President Donald Trump about the need to suspend anyone who didn't stand for the anthem.

The former 49ers quarterback, who opted out of his contract with San Francisco, filed a grievance against the NFL claiming he and Eric Reid were colluded against by owners who refused to sign the players because of their pre-game protests. Kaepernick and Reid later announced a settlement for that grievance, with reports varying significantly as to how much money the two players received.

After the settlement, Kaepernick would link up with Nike as a spokesperson, despite his lack of football in recent years and produce a new "Just Do It" campaign

The shoes are currently selling for upwards of $2,000 on resale site StockX.com. 

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via StockX.com
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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