• Myles Shin

Today I Learned... About Nike's Racist Shoe

Right before Independence Day, Nike was planning to release a special edition trainer shoe. However, they decided to recall it because they thought they would face racist backlash. Why? Because it had the US' original flag with the 13 stars. Kaepernick told Nike that it could be racist because the flag itself is almost synonymous with slavery of that era. Nike's mistake has caused up a lot of hatred amongst certain people. Notably, Doug Ducey, Arizona's governor, took away a one million dollar grant to build a new Nike factory in Arizona. With all of the political tension in the country right now with Trump as our president, Nike definitely should not have even thought of releasing this.

However, I do feel like some people did take this out of context. This flag was our nation's first flag that we used. We had it throughout the Revolutionary War. It symbolizes our independence from Britain, nothing more. I can see why it could bring back bad feelings of those of the African American community, but it's not meant to symbolize slavery. Nike just wanted to show pride for our independence.


“Is the 'Racist Trainer' Controversy Good for Nike?” BBC News, BBC, 4 July 2019,