Culture/Style

7 controversial shoe releases pulled from the shelves

After backlash on social media, including from Colin Kaepernick, Nike has decided to stop production of the Nike Are Max 1 “Betsy Ross.”

July 4, 2019

Colin Kaepernick continues to prove he doesn’t need an NFL jersey to be a superstar, with the athelete and activist calling out Nike this week for a Fourth of July shoe design with questionable racist undertones. Nike’s Fourth of July edition of their Air Max 1 Quick Strikes come embroidered with an early, 13-star version of the American that, while assumedly used for its associations with American history and the Revolutionary War, has over time become shorthand for racial oppression and white supremacy.

Kaepernick – currently locked in a contract as a brand ambassador for Nike – brought these associations to light for the company, who in response announced that they will be cancelling the release of the shoe “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.”

Despite the shoe’s cancellation inspiring a number of public criticism from the usual (conservative) suspects, this thankfully isn’t the first time the footwear world has rolled back their blunders when it comes to controversial footwear releases. Above, we’ve highlighted six other shoe releases that were cancelled for the controversy they caused.

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