Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted a Fourth of July photo that appeared to take direct aim at Nike and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“Happy Fourth of July!” McConnell tweeted, sharing a photo of the original Betsy Ross design of the American flag.
Happy Fourth of July! pic.twitter.com/Z6dt3VPzfx
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 4, 2019
McConnell’s photo came following reports that Nike canceled the release of a patriotic-themed shoe, featuring the Betsy Ross flag, after complaints from Kaepernick suggesting that the flag could be viewed as a symbol of racism.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 2, 2019
Nike released a statement following the move, saying, “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.” (RELATED: Arizona Drops Nike Investment After Betsy Ross Shoe Is Scrapped)
McConnell responded to Nike’s decision earlier in the week, saying that if Nike went ahead with production anyway — or if another company took up a similar design — he would “make the first order.”
Senator McConnell weighs in on Nike’s decision to pull the Betsy Ross shoes. “I’ll make the first order.” pic.twitter.com/QtMP1jXJpC
— Daniel Desrochers (@drdesrochers) July 2, 2019
Since the shoes were recalled, a few pairs have made it to online auction sites. One such e-Bay listing was up to $8,800 by the time of publication.