Politics

Gavin Newsom Says Nike Did ‘The Right Thing’ In Pulling Betsy Ross Flag Shoes

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom praised Nike for recalling its custom Betsy Ross Flag shoes after the product reportedly received criticism from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Outrage ensued earlier this week after The Wall Street Journal reported that Nike pulled the shoes at Kaepernick’s behest. A Nike spokeswoman later confirmed the report to the Journal. (RELATED: Colin Kaepernick Explains Why He Didn’t Vote In 2016)

Newsom’s comments came a day after Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state was scrapping its investment in the shoe giant due to its decision to pull the footwear.

“Hey, Nike— we’re just a quick jaunt over the border,” Newsom said. “Thank you for doing the right thing. CA is open for business and welcomes those that represent the best of our American values.”

Nike’s decision to recall the shoes ignited intense criticism from Republican Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Democratic Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, among others. Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called Nike an “anti-American company.”

The 51-year-old Newsom is in his first term as governor of California after having spent the past eight years as the state’s lieutenant governor. Newsom has faced criticism for the increased poverty and homelessness rates across the state, which some conservatives claim stem from the progressive policies that Newsom has helped enact over the past decade.

For his part, Newsom has praised his state as a beacon of progress, and has taken aim at Republicans, who he claims are “xenophobic,” comparing America to California in the 1990s.

“America in 2019 is California in the 1990s,” Newsom said last month. “The xenophobia, the nativism, the fear of ‘the other.’ Scapegoating. Talking down or past people. The hysteria. And so, we’re not going to put up with that. We are going to push back.”