Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback-turned activist, may have just proved how much of a stranglehold he has over Nike.

According to The Hill, Nike has told retailers to ship them all back after already shipping a new line of sneakers to stores for a major launch this week.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, Why? Because on their heels Kaepernick didn’t like the American flags.

The $140 sneakers showed Betsy Ross flags on their heels, named the Air Max 1 USA, were set to release on Monday in honor of the Independence Day holiday.

The flag of Betsy Ross is an early American flag from the late 1700s. For the original 13 colonies, it featured only 13 stars. According to, the flag was the first U.S. flag to look like our modern American flag.

But sources familiar with the issue say that Kaepernick disapproved of the flag because during a time when slavery was legal in the U.S. it was flown.

However, it also flew in an era when Americans were fighting to an oppressive government for their independence. Later, America became one of the nations that in the 1800s abolished slavery, joining other nations in ending a practice that had been global for most of human history.

In the play of the national anthem, Kaepernick also protested the modern American flag, even though he claims he is singularly protesting police officers ‘ treatment of black people.

According to MarketWatch, a Nike spokeswoman said, not mentioning why:

“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”

In September, Nike made Kaepernick the face of their company, a hugely political move for a company that sells sports attire and equipment.

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