Nike announced this week that it would halt its plan to release a USA-themed shoe with an image of the “Betsy Ross flag” stitched on the heel.
The reason? Former NFL quarterback turned Nike sponsor, Colin Kaepernick, complained to the company that he and others considered it offensive.
Colin Kaepernick reached out to Nike saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery https://t.co/6Y2mIlbAuT
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 2, 2019
Apparently, Kaepernick found the existence of slavery during the colonial days of America to be enough reason to take offense to the symbol of American independence.
I think it’s a flimsy excuse that shows how weak-minded many in this country have become in the 21st Century.
The irony: Kaepernick protests a flag, after all
Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016. During that season, he frequently kneeled on the sideline during the playing of the National Anthem. The gesture set off a firestorm not only in the sports landscape but through the political realm as well.
Kaepernick claimed that he wasn’t protesting against America, or the country’s flag. He insisted that it was in support of breaking down racial inequality.
Unfortunately for him, that claim directly contradicted what he initially said after his first act of defiance — or “protest.”
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told the media at the time when asked why he wouldn’t stand for the National Anthem.
Declining to show pride in a flag is, in fact, showing disrespect for it, and the country it represents.
Thus, the irony in Kaepernick complaining about Nike’s Betsy Ross flag shoe is that Kaepernick is protesting a flag, after all.
We can’t erase the past, or dwell on our mistakes
America was not perfect when it was founded, so why should we be surprised that it remains imperfect to this day?
Many of our Founding Fathers hated the idea of slavery and rightfully found it to be a breach of basic human rights. However, with so many delegates in favor of it, America risked fracturing from within. The divide could have potentially prevented America becoming a free and independent nation. If not for an unimaginable and distasteful compromise, America — the greatest nation presently and throughout history — might never have been founded.
The fact remains that slavery was abhorrent, and remains a massive stain on the history of this nation. But such a stain does not invalidate America’s greatness.
Every human being throughout history has been a sinner with stains in his or her life. The same holds true for America. But there have been a lot of great individuals with troubled pasts. We must focus on the positive rather than dwell on the negative.
America cannot be a nation of snowflakes, protesting anything and everything
We have to stop taking offense to so many things of little consequence. We’ve become a nation of snowflakes.
If every person in America protested something they found offensive, and every business willingly obliged to their complaint, our country would cease to grow.
If a person were to use the six degrees of separation theory on potentially offensive material, surely almost everything that exists in the world today could be offensive to someone.
Thus, if we stopped everything that someone in the world found offensive, we would stop the world.