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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Flags, Emblems and Insignia"

Trump Leans Into False Virus Claims in Combative Fox News Interview

Westlake Legal Group trump-leans-into-false-virus-claims-in-combative-fox-news-interview Trump Leans Into False Virus Claims in Combative Fox News Interview Wallace, Chris (1947- ) United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Rumors and Misinformation Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Police Reform Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Monuments and Memorials (Structures) George Floyd Protests (2020) Fox News Channel Flags, Emblems and Insignia Fauci, Anthony S Disease Rates Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Black People absentee voting
Westlake Legal Group 19dc-trump-facebookJumbo Trump Leans Into False Virus Claims in Combative Fox News Interview Wallace, Chris (1947- ) United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Rumors and Misinformation Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Police Reform Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Monuments and Memorials (Structures) George Floyd Protests (2020) Fox News Channel Flags, Emblems and Insignia Fauci, Anthony S Disease Rates Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Black People absentee voting

WASHINGTON — An agitated President Trump offered a string of combative and often dubious assertions in an interview aired Sunday, defending his handling of the coronavirus with misleading evidence, attacking his own health experts, disputing polls showing him trailing in his re-election race and defending people who display the Confederate flag as victims of “cancel culture.”

The president’s remarks, delivered in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” amounted to a contentious potpourri more commonly found on his Twitter feed and at his political rallies.

The difference this time was a vigorous attempt by the host, Chris Wallace, to fact-check him, leading to several clashes between the two on matters ranging from the coronavirus response to whether Mr. Trump would accept the results of the election should he lose.

  • The president made a litany of false claims about his administration’s handling of the virus, despite evidence that key officials and public health experts advising the president made crucial missteps and played down the spread of the disease this spring. In the interview, Mr. Trump falsely claimed that the United States had “one of the lowest mortality rates in the world” from the virus.

    “That’s not true, sir,” Mr. Wallace said.

    “Do you have the numbers, please?” Mr. Trump said. “Because I heard we had the best mortality rate.”

    The United States has the eighth-worst fatality rate among reported coronavirus cases in the world, and the death rate per 100,000 people — 42.83 — ranks it third-worst, according to data on the countries most affected by the coronavirus compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Trump said that by increasing testing, his administration was “creating trouble for the fake news to come along and say, ‘Oh, we have more cases.’”

  • Mr. Trump falsely claimed that the coronavirus case rate in other countries was lower than in the United States because those nations did not engage in testing. When Mr. Wallace pointed out a low case rate across the European Union, the president suggested it was possible that those countries “don’t test.” And when Mr. Wallace pointed out that the death rate in the United States was rising, Mr. Trump replied by blaming China.

    “Excuse me, it’s all too much, it shouldn’t be one case,” Mr. Trump said. “It came from China. They should’ve never let it escape. They should’ve never let it out. But it is what it is. Take a look at Europe, take a look at the numbers in Europe. And by the way, they’re having cases.”

  • Mr. Trump called Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, an “alarmist” who provided faulty information in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “I don’t know that he’s a leaker,” Mr. Trump said during the interview. “He’s a little bit of an alarmist. That’s OK. A little bit of an alarmist.”

    Mr. Trump said that Dr. Fauci had been against his decision to close the borders to travelers from China in January. That is misleading: While Dr. Fauci initially opposed the idea on the grounds that a ban would prevent medical professionals from traveling to hard-hit areas, he supported the decision by the time it was made.

    Mr. Trump also said Dr. Fauci had been against Americans wearing masks. Dr. Fauci has said he does not regret urging Americans not to wear masks in the early days of the pandemic, citing a severe shortage of protective gear for medical professionals at the time.

  • Mr. Trump said he doubted whether Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was correct in predicting that the pandemic would be worse this fall. “I don’t know,” Mr. Trump said. “And I don’t think he knows.”

    He said public health experts and the World Health Organization “got a lot wrong” early on, including a theory that the virus would abate as the weather warmed — one that Mr. Trump himself had promoted repeatedly. Then the president reiterated his earlier claim, unsupported by science, that the virus would suddenly cease one day. “It’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right,” Mr. Trump said. “Because I’ve been right probably more than anybody else.”

  • Mr. Trump insulted Fox News pollsters as “among the worst” when presented with data that showed him trailing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, claiming that he had seen polls that showed him winning.

    “I understand you still have more than 100 days to this election, but at this point you’re losing,” Mr. Wallace told Mr. Trump after detailing a new Fox News poll that showed Mr. Biden leading the president by eight points, 49 percent to 41 percent, among registered voters.

    “First of all, I’m not losing,” Mr. Trump replied, “because those are fake polls. They were fake in 2016, and now they’re even more fake. The polls were much worse in 2016.”

    But in reality, the Fox News poll was much better for him than another major survey released Sunday. A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Mr. Biden with a double-digit lead: 55 percent to 40 percent among registered voters. The numbers were part of a slate of polls showing Mr. Biden’s lead widening as the pandemic weighed on the president’s approval ratings.

    Mr. Trump said he was not worried about losing the election with the decision this week to replace his campaign manager, Brad Parscale. Mr. Trump called Mr. Parscale “a great digital guy” before saying that many of his 2016 campaign hands were getting more involved. He did not mention his new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, by name.

  • When told that Mr. Biden was chosen in the Fox poll as the more mentally sound candidate, Mr. Trump disputed that finding and defended his cognitive test results to Mr. Wallace, who said he had taken the same test that the president had bragged about acing this month. Mr. Wallace pointed out that one of the questions asked to identify an elephant.

    “It’s all misrepresentation,” Mr. Trump said. “Because, yes, the first few questions are easy, but I’ll bet you couldn’t even answer the last five questions. I’ll bet you couldn’t. They get very hard, the last five questions.”

  • Mr. Trump suggested that he might not accept the results of the election should he lose. Mr. Wallace, who spent the interview grilling the president — a tactic he has used in other high-profile interviews — pointed out that Mr. Trump said the same thing in 2016.

    “You don’t know until you see,” Mr. Trump said. “It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. I really do.”

    Mr. Trump, who has voted by mail, has repeatedly warned, without evidence, that mail elections would involve robbed mailboxes, forged signatures and ballots printed by foreign countries.

  • Mr. Trump again tried to attack Mr. Biden, claiming that the former vice president wanted to defund the police. The president suggested this was evidenced by his work with more progressive Democrats to create a charter pledging to work together on matters including changes to policing.

    “It says nothing about defunding the police,” Mr. Wallace said of that document.

    “Oh really? It says abolish, it says defund. Let’s go! Get me the charter, please,” Mr. Trump said, before demanding to see the document. In a promotional clip of the interview, Mr. Wallace said the president had been unable to find evidence that Mr. Biden sought to defund or abolish the police.

  • When Mr. Wallace asked the president if he could understand why Black people would be angry about their increased likelihood to be killed by the police, Mr. Trump reiterated a claim he made in another interview last week: that white people are fatally shot in high numbers, too.

    “I mean, many, many whites are killed,” Mr. Trump said. “I hate to say, but this is going on for decades.”

    Statistics show that while more white Americans are killed by the police over all, people of color are killed at higher rates.

  • Mr. Trump also refused to back down from supporting people who were against abolishing the Confederate flag, even as Mr. Wallace pointed out that they had used it in defense of slavery. The president equated the movement to pull down the flags and Confederate monuments to “cancel culture,” a term more commonly used to describe a boycott against a person, often a celebrity, who says or does something culturally offensive.

    “And you know, the whole thing with cancel culture, we can’t cancel our whole history,” Mr. Trump said. “We can’t forget that the North and the South fought. We have to remember that. Otherwise we’ll end up fighting again.”

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Trump Adds to Playbook of Stoking White Fear and Resentment

President Trump mounted an explicit defense of the Confederate flag on Monday, suggesting that NASCAR had made a mistake in banning it from its auto racing events, while falsely accusing a top Black driver, Darrell Wallace Jr., of perpetrating a hoax involving a noose found in his garage.

The remarks are part of a pattern. Almost every day in the last two weeks, Mr. Trump has sought to stoke white fear and resentment, portraying himself as a protector of an old order that polls show much of America believes perpetuates entrenched racism and wants to move beyond.

Two weeks ago, the president retweeted a video of a supporter shouting “white power” at a retirement community filled with older people whom he wants to win over. Last week, he wrote that he was reviewing a fair housing regulation that is aimed at eliminating racial housing disparities in the suburbs, but that he said would have a “devastating impact” on those communities — a play to white suburbanites whose votes would be crucial to his re-election.

On Monday, he also tweeted his displeasure with sports teams that are reviewing the appropriateness of nicknames that are offensive to Native Americans, seeking to curry favor with Americans who believe political correctness has gone too far. He has invoked fear of crime with tweets about sanctuary cities and crime rates in New York and Chicago, and has spoken of preserving “our heritage,” picking up the language of those who want to honor the Confederacy.

For many Republicans who are watching the president’s impact on Senate races with alarm, his focus on racial and cultural flash points — and not on the surge of the coronavirus in many states — is distressing.

“This is part of the same selfish, divide-and-conquer strategy that helped the president get elected in 2016,” said Carlos Curbelo, a former Republican congressman from Florida who has been critical of Mr. Trump. “Of course that strategy worked for much of the president’s base, and it certainly benefited him in the past, but it’s selfish in the sense that it is extremely damaging for Republicans in swing states, in swing districts.”

Mr. Curbelo added, “It’s always been clear, but this is a reminder that the president looks out for himself first, second and third.”

Mr. Trump’s inflammatory behavior shows how out of step he is with shifting national sentiment on racial justice, as big corporations, sports leagues and cultural institutions express greater solidarity with Black Americans protesting systemic racism. Even some Republicans have been open to discussions about removing Confederate statues.

While NASCAR and other organizations have moved to retire symbols of the Confederacy, and lawmakers in Mississippi voted to bring down the state flag featuring the Confederate battle emblem, Mr. Trump continues to cast himself as a defender of the history of the American South, despite its stains of slavery and oppression. He has called the phrase “Black Lives Matter” a “symbol of hate,” and he has repeatedly tried to depict pockets of violence during protests against entrenched racism as representative of the protest movement as a whole.

Mr. Trump also delivered official speeches over the weekend that emphasized defending American historical figures like George Washington and some abolitionists, though he avoided explicit references to totems of the Confederacy.

But on Monday he was back invoking the Confederacy, with his reference to NASCAR’s ban on Confederate flags, while also attacking Mr. Wallace, the only Black driver on NASCAR’s top circuit.

Mr. Wallace, nicknamed “Bubba,” had called for NASCAR to ban the flag from its events, and the sport agreed to prohibit it from its races and its properties. At the start of race week at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama last month, a member of Mr. Wallace’s racing team found a noose hanging in the driver’s garage stall and reported it to NASCAR.

“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!” Mr. Trump posted on Twitter on Monday.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_174019152_e177c971-1985-42c0-9688-d2322639b1de-articleLarge Trump Adds to Playbook of Stoking White Fear and Resentment Wallace, Darrell Jr Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Monuments and Memorials (Structures) Flags, Emblems and Insignia Civil War (US) (1861-65)
Credit…Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, offered a contorted defense of Mr. Trump’s tweet about the Confederate flag and Mr. Wallace during an early afternoon briefing.

She insisted Mr. Trump was being taken out of context, and invoked Jussie Smollet, the Black television actor known for his role on the TV series “Empire,” who is facing charges that he lied to the authorities about a hate crime attack that detectives said he had staged last year in Chicago.

No one has credibly suggested Mr. Wallace manufactured the noose that was discovered in his garage stall by a colleague. F.B.I. officials later found that the knot had been tied into the rope as early as October 2019, well before anyone would have known that Mr. Wallace would be assigned that stall for the race.

Ms. McEnany claimed that the original reports about the incident painted NASCAR members as “racist individuals who were roaming around and engaging in a crime.”

But Mr. Trump received pushback from Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and an informal adviser to the president, who said Monday that he disagreed with Mr. Trump’s tweet.

“They’re trying to grow the sport,” Mr. Graham said, according to the CNN reporter Manu Raju, referring to NASCAR’s ban on Confederate flags, which it announced last month. “And I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life and if you’re in business, the Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business.”

Mr. Graham, who is facing a strong challenge from Jaime Harrison, a Black Democrat, in his re-election bid, said that “one way you grow the sport is you take images that divide us and ask that they not be brought into the venue. That makes sense to me.” He said that Mr. Wallace did not have “anything to apologize for,” and that his fellow drivers should be applauded for supporting him.

“I would be looking to celebrate that kind of attitude more than being worried about it being a hoax,” Mr. Graham said, according to Mr. Raju.

(Mr. Trump was also wrong in his tweet in characterizing NASCAR’s television audience as having fallen to its “lowest ratings EVER!” The broadcast of Sunday’s Brickyard 400 was seen by about 4.3 million viewers, a 39 percent increase from the average NASCAR race that aired on NBC last year, according to Nielsen.)

Later on Monday, Mr. Trump added another inflammatory tweet, weighing in on recent announcements by the Washington Redskins of the N.F.L. and the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball that the teams would review their names. While many Native Americans and other advocates for change consider the names deeply offensive, Mr. Trump baselessly claimed that Native Americans would be “very angry” about the potential changes.

“They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct,” Mr. Trump tweeted. He added a jab at a favorite target, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has apologized for her past claims of Native ancestry. “Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now,” the president wrote.

Eleven minutes later, Mr. Trump again referred to the coronavirus as the “China Virus,” a phrase that critics say is racist, xenophobic and harmful to Asian-Americans.

Mr. Trump’s tweets came just days after he delivered a divisive speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota as part of the July 4 holiday, in which he denounced Democrats as radical anarchists and said that children are taught in schools to “hate” the United States. In that address he avoided specifically mentioning anything related to Confederate monuments.

He talked more generally about efforts to take down statues across the country, conflating what is primarily an attempt to remove statues of Confederate generals with others questioning monuments to people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

“Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities,” Mr. Trump said in the speech. “Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing.”

Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers have tried to persuade him to focus less explicitly on statues of Confederate generals, given that he is taking an unpopular position. But after sticking to the script in his Friday night speech, he was clear about his support for the Confederate flag in his tweet on Monday.

Michael M. Grynbaum contributed reporting from New York.

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Why NASCAR’s Only Top Black Driver Finally Took On the Confederate Flag

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., the only black driver in NASCAR’s top racing series, has drawn widespread attention and acclaim for his principled stand that got the Confederate flag banned from races in a largely white sport.

Yet, after years of often quiet acceptance of the sport’s “racist label,” as he put it, nobody was more surprised than his mother that he had become a central figure in the sports world’s upheaval regarding race.

“I was shocked,” his mother, Desiree Wallace, said in a telephone interview. “I said, ‘Wait a minute, is this my son? The one who doesn’t really care about anything but getting in the car and driving?’ I’m tripping that he’s gone from being a racecar driver to becoming a daggone activist. Who does that? Not Bubba.”

Yet a series of events, particularly the killing of a black man, Ahmaud Arbery, while he was jogging in a predominantly white neighborhood in Georgia, flipped a switch in Wallace, he and those who know him said.

Unlike other African-American athletes now speaking out in a tide of conversation and debate around race and denouncing police brutality, Wallace has found his voice in a sport surrounded by white peers. Many have supported him, but others have stayed silent.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_173315529_2e721b71-7844-4972-92c6-87f3188e85d2-articleLarge Why NASCAR's Only Top Black Driver Finally Took On the Confederate Flag Wallace, Darrell Jr racial profiling Race and Ethnicity Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings National Assn of Stock Car Auto Racing George Floyd Protests (2020) Flags, Emblems and Insignia Confederate States of America Black People Black Lives Matter Movement
Credit…Chris Graythen/Getty Images

For a long time, Wallace, 26, tried to focus solely on racing and not disturb the culture of a sport whose fan base remains predominantly white and conservative. From the time he first started racing a souped-up go-kart at age 9, his main concern was simply going fast and crossing the finish line first.

Wallace, who was born in Mobile, Ala., but grew up in the heart of North Carolina’s NASCAR country, would show up at races with his father, Darrell Sr., who is white, and sometimes his mother, who is black. Wallace put on his helmet and blended in.

“I never saw color and never thought I was treated differently because I was black,” Wallace said in a telephone interview. “I was way too young to understand what a trailblazer was or a pioneer was.”

When he was about 13, though, a driver’s parent and a race official called him a racial slur, prompting Desiree Wallace to sit her son down for a serious talk.

He asked her what the slur meant.

“Those are ignorant people, Bub,” Desiree Wallace recalled telling him, using the short version of the nickname his sister, Brittany, gave him when he was a baby.

Credit…Richard Petty Motorsports

She went on to explain: “You don’t use violence and you don’t fight them when they say that to you. You get them back by winning. You earn their respect by winning.”

Still, Wallace’s mother made clear the challenges ahead.

“You’re in a white man’s sport and not everything is going to be easy for you,” she told Bubba.

He said, “OK, mom. I understand, mom,” and headed to his room to play a video game.

Credit…Richard Petty Motorsports

As Wallace made headway in the sport, it was clear NASCAR saw his potential to broaden its pool of competitors and its audience.

When he was 16 years old in 2010, he earned a spot in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity development program.The racing academy is headed by Max Siegel, a lawyer and former president of global operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc. It serves as a training ground for the most promising women and minorities in the sport.

Wallace still had braces on his teeth when he showed up with a level of determination that immediately impressed Siegel, who recalled this week that Wallace “was the entire package” because he was smart and showed immense talent.

Credit…Max Siegel Incorporated

“He’s had a maturity about him from the day I met him,” said Siegel, who became chief executive of USA Track & Field in 2012 but still runs the Drive for Diversity development team, Revolution Racing. “He’s never compromised himself as a person, good, bad or indifferent, and he’s got a lot of authenticity to him.”

Siegel said Wallace began to understand the extra burden he carried because he represented an entire community of people who were underrepresented in the sport, and he took that role seriously.

Wallace graduated from the development program, and in 2013 he became the first black driver since Wendell Scott in 1963 to win a race in one of NASCAR’s national series. In 2017, he signed on to drive the famed No. 43 Chevrolet full time for Richard Petty Motorsports in NASCAR’s top series. Every day, he said, he batted away racist comments from the sport’s fans on social media.

The critics nagged him so much that he was moved to pin a message on his Twitter page reminding everyone that he will be known as “the black driver” for years because there is only one African-American athlete at NASCAR’s top level. “Embrace it, accept it and enjoy the journey,” he said.

Credit…Richard Petty Motorsports
Credit…Richard Petty Motorsports

He has tried to enjoy that journey without raising alarm at the lack of diversity among fans or the Confederate battle flags they have often displayed in his presence.

“The only flag that mattered to us was the checkered flag,” Desiree Wallace said, adding that the Confederate symbols never bothered her at the track because she was more worried about Bubba staying safe during races.

Ryan Blaney, a top NASCAR driver and Bubba’s close friend, said they often mingled with fans on race weekends, heading to the infield of tracks where campers are known to party all night.

They would challenge fans to beer pong competitions and play what Wallace called “redneck Jenga,” in which people try to dismantle a stack of two-by-fours without toppling them. The drivers would laugh and sign autographs, while the fans’ Confederate flags flew atop motor homes and pickups.

Yet Wallace said he has struggled at times. In the back of his mind, he understands that to keep his job in the top series he must start winning.

In 88 starts, Wallace has had only two top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes. On Monday, he said being winless since 2017 “has been eating at me every day.” Also, his team, as well as many others in NASCAR, has struggled to secure lasting sponsorships.

Darrell Waltrip, a retired three-time NASCAR Cup series champion, said performance is crucial for everyone in NASCAR, but that it is especially important for Wallace, who wants to use his stardom to make an impact outside of the sport.

“I don’t care who you are or what you’re talking about,” Waltrip said, “If you want people to keep listening to you, you have to to run up front with the big boys and can’t just be in the middle of the pack. You’ve got to perform to have any credibility in any sport.”

That burden, Wallace said, has only grown heavier as his life has grown more complicated.

Last year, he admitted publicly that he has battled depression for many years. Desiree Wallace said her son was especially bothered in 2016 when she and Darrell Sr. separated and later divorced. The parting was acrimonious, she said, and Bubba Wallace’s relationship with his father has been rocky since then.

Part of the reason for his tears after he finished second in the Daytona 500 in 2018, Desiree Wallace said, was that Bubba’s father wasn’t celebrating with them at the track. That finish is still his best result in the top series.

While Wallace has been mindful, he said, of upsetting current and potential sponsors, his perspective changed last month, when one of his cousins shared the video of Arbery’s killing on Instagram.

Wallace said he stayed up that night to watch the video again and again. The idea seared into his brain, he said, that a black man, one who was just about his age, could be gunned down on a jog by white people who appeared to hunt him. He said he can still hear the gunshots in his head.

The death broke his heart, he said, and opened his mind to the urgency of fighting for racial justice.

Not long after came the case of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the back of his neck for several minutes. Wallace sent a group text to other top drivers, telling them he was frustrated that so many of them had been silent about it as people protested around the nation.

Credit…Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

He told them that he understood everyone had to be careful of what they say publicly but that it was more important to speak out about injustices.

“Our sport has always had somewhat of a racist label to it,” he wrote to those drivers, he said in an interview on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast earlier this month. “NASCAR — everybody thinks redneck, Confederate flags, racists. And I hate it. I hate it because I know NASCAR is so much more. I said, ‘Do you all not care about what’s going on in the world?’”

Many of his peers, he said, listened and supported him as he opened up like never before.

Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR Cup series champion, organized about two dozen top drivers for a video condemning racial inequality and racism. “It is all of our responsibility to no longer be silent,” they said in the video.

On Instagram with another driver, Ty Dillon, Wallace described his experiences with profiling, including getting pulled over by officers who drew guns and doubted he was the owner of the Lexus he was driving.

On the Fox show, “NASCAR Race Hub,” Wallace broke down in tears while reading a text his mother had sent him after Floyd’s death.

“I pray as a mom of a black son that I never have to hear you crying out ‘I can’t breathe,’” the text said. “I love you, Bubba, and your life matters to me.”

Watching from her home, Desiree Wallace cried. “I didn’t know I had an impact on him until that interview,” she said on Wednesday. “It was shocking to me to see how much black lives mattered to Bubba.”

Bubba Wallace said he finally understands the pain his mother felt when his 19-year-old cousin, Sean Gillispie, was shot and killed in 2003 in the parking lot of a convenience store in Knoxville, Tenn., by a white police officer.

The police said he was reaching for a gun but the family and a witness said he was grabbing for his cellphone; the family lost a negligence suit against the city.

And Wallace said he finally believed that the Confederate flag should not be flown at races because it represented hate, not heritage. Two days after telling CNN that, and hours before he raced his No. 43 Chevrolet with #BlackLivesMatter logos emblazoned on it, NASCAR banned the flag.

“My mom texted me just last week to say that God has a bigger plan for me than just being a racecar driver,” Wallace said. “And she was right.”

Credit…Barry Cantrell

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Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Furor

Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.

But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.

On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.

The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.

Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.

Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.

While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”

In a statement Tuesday, the City of Goodyear called the furor “a difficult situation” but said its offer of financial incentives to Nike still stood, as elected officials from New Mexico sought to capitalize on the uncertainty and lure the plant across the state line.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.

To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”

But the flag has, at least in recent years, cropped up in association with racist ideologies. When the Ku Klux Klan tried to recruit new followers in upstate New York last year, its fliers featured a Klansman flanked by the Confederate flag and the Betsy Ross flag. Similar imagery was reportedly included in a letter sent by the Klan to a college newspaper in Washington in 2017.

In 2016, a school superintendent in Michigan apologized after students waved the 13-star flag alongside a Trump political banner at a football game, writing in a letter to parents that the flag had come “to some symbolizes exclusion and hate.” And according to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.

Prominent conservatives argued that Nike’s cancellation of the shoe was unpatriotic.

“It’s a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Just so you know how this works now: Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like it.”

Mr. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, became a face of the social justice movement in 2016 after he began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police violence against black people and racial inequality in the United States.

His acts of protest inspired similar demonstrations from other professional athletes, but they came under fire from politicians including President Trump, who argued that they were disrespecting the country and the military, and some fans boycotted the N.F.L.

After receiving no offers to join with a team after the 2016 season, Mr. Kaepernick accused the N.F.L. of trying to keep him and a former teammate, Eric Reid, out of the league. In February, the two reached a surprise settlement with the N.F.L. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02xp-nike-articleLarge Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Furor United States National Anthem Protests (2016- ) United States Social Media Sneakers NIKE Inc National Football League Kaepernick, Colin football Flags, Emblems and Insignia Ducey, Doug (1964- ) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Corporate Social Responsibility Arizona

A Nike billboard in Manhattan featuring Colin Kaepernick. The company made Mr. Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign last year.CreditAlba Vigaray/EPA, via Shutterstock

As part of his lucrative endorsement arrangement with Nike, Mr. Kaepernick appeared prominently in an advertising campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. In the wake of the ad, some consumers called for a boycott of Nike, while others destroyed their Nike products.

But analysts said that Nike had not suffered financially from its association with an athlete who had become a symbol of the so-called Resistance movement.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base — the millennial and the Gen Z consumer — and if they have alienated others, those are not the folks who buy a lot of Nikes.”

The decision to cancel the special Air Max shoe is a sign of Mr. Kaepernick’s power at Nike, said Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Nike is signaling that they’re going to go all-in on this road, whatever the consequences are, even if it’s going to get some consumers to burn their shoes on Twitter,” he said.

But it can be risky for corporations to ally themselves with divisive brand ambassadors.

“When you get into the game of commodifying social issues in a time of ultra-volatile global political sensitivity, you better create a department in your organization that does nothing all day and night but monitors and understands that state of play,” David A. Hollander, an assistant dean and associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, said in an email.

Companies have reacted quickly to brand gaffes in the past. H & M apologized last year for using a black child to model a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle” and removed the sweatshirt from its stores. The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol.

Those examples were more obviously offensive than the commemorative Nikes, several branding experts said. But Mr. Reed, of the Wharton School, said that, for many consumers, the 18th-century flag was representative less of the fight for freedom from British rule than of a period of race-based oppression.

“For lots of people, it’s quite similar to, say, the Confederate flag,” Mr. Reed said. “The revolution now is one of diversity, of all kinds of dimensions that go beyond just white males — women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. It’s a different world, and it’s a different flag.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nike Drops ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker After Kaepernick Criticizes It

Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.

But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.

On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.

The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.

Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.

Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.

While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”

In a statement Tuesday, the City of Goodyear called the furor “a difficult situation” but said its offer of financial incentives to Nike still stood, as elected officials from New Mexico sought to capitalize on the uncertainty and lure the plant across the state line.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.

To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”

But the flag has, at least in recent years, cropped up in association with racist ideologies. When the Ku Klux Klan tried to recruit new followers in upstate New York last year, its fliers featured a Klansman flanked by the Confederate flag and the Betsy Ross flag. Similar imagery was reportedly included in a letter sent by the Klan to a college newspaper in Washington in 2017.

In 2016, a school superintendent in Michigan apologized after students waved the 13-star flag alongside a Trump political banner at a football game, writing in a letter to parents that the flag had come “to some symbolizes exclusion and hate.” And according to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.

Prominent conservatives argued that Nike’s cancellation of the shoe was unpatriotic.

“It’s a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Just so you know how this works now: Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like it.”

Mr. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, became a face of the social justice movement in 2016 after he began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police violence against black people and racial inequality in the United States.

His acts of protest inspired similar demonstrations from other professional athletes, but they came under fire from politicians including President Trump, who argued that they were disrespecting the country and the military, and some fans boycotted the N.F.L.

After receiving no offers to join with a team after the 2016 season, Mr. Kaepernick accused the N.F.L. of trying to keep him and a former teammate, Eric Reid, out of the league. In February, the two reached a surprise settlement with the N.F.L. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02xp-nike-articleLarge Nike Drops ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker After Kaepernick Criticizes It United States National Anthem Protests (2016- ) United States Social Media Sneakers Ross, Betsy NIKE Inc Kaepernick, Colin Independence Day (US) (July 4) football Flags, Emblems and Insignia Ducey, Doug (1964- ) discrimination Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Corporate Social Responsibility Blacks Arizona

A Nike billboard in Manhattan featuring Colin Kaepernick. The company made Mr. Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign last year.CreditAlba Vigaray/EPA, via Shutterstock

As part of his lucrative endorsement arrangement with Nike, Mr. Kaepernick appeared prominently in an advertising campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. In the wake of the ad, some consumers called for a boycott of Nike, while others destroyed their Nike products.

But analysts said that Nike had not suffered financially from its association with an athlete who had become a symbol of the so-called Resistance movement.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base — the millennial and the Gen Z consumer — and if they have alienated others, those are not the folks who buy a lot of Nikes.”

The decision to cancel the special Air Max shoe is a sign of Mr. Kaepernick’s power at Nike, said Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Nike is signaling that they’re going to go all-in on this road, whatever the consequences are, even if it’s going to get some consumers to burn their shoes on Twitter,” he said.

But it can be risky for corporations to ally themselves with divisive brand ambassadors.

“When you get into the game of commodifying social issues in a time of ultra-volatile global political sensitivity, you better create a department in your organization that does nothing all day and night but monitors and understands that state of play,” David A. Hollander, an assistant dean and associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, said in an email.

Companies have reacted quickly to brand gaffes in the past. H & M apologized last year for using a black child to model a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle” and removed the sweatshirt from its stores. The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol.

Those examples were more obviously offensive than the commemorative Nikes, several branding experts said. But Mr. Reed, of the Wharton School, said that, for many consumers, the 18th-century flag was representative less of the fight for freedom from British rule than of a period of race-based oppression.

“For lots of people, it’s quite similar to, say, the Confederate flag,” Mr. Reed said. “The revolution now is one of diversity, of all kinds of dimensions that go beyond just white males — women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. It’s a different world, and it’s a different flag.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Backlash

Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.

But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.

On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.

The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.

Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.

Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.

While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.

To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”

But the flag has, at least in recent years, cropped up in association with racist ideologies. When the Ku Klux Klan tried to recruit new followers in upstate New York last year, its fliers featured a Klansman flanked by the Confederate flag and the Betsy Ross flag. Similar imagery was reportedly included in a letter sent by the Klan to a college newspaper in Washington in 2017.

In 2016, a school superintendent in Michigan apologized after students waved the 13-star flag alongside a Trump political banner at a football game, writing in a letter to parents that the flag had come “to some symbolizes exclusion and hate.” And according to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.

Prominent conservatives argued that Nike’s cancellation of the shoe was unpatriotic.

“It’s a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Just so you know how this works now: Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like it.”

Mr. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, became a face of the social justice movement in 2016 after he began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police violence against black people and racial inequality in the United States.

His acts of protest inspired similar demonstrations from other professional athletes, but they came under fire from politicians including President Trump, who argued that they were disrespecting the country and the military, and some fans boycotted the N.F.L.

After receiving no offers to join with a team after the 2016 season, Mr. Kaepernick accused the N.F.L. of trying to keep him and a former teammate, Eric Reid, out of the league. In February, the two reached a surprise settlement with the N.F.L. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02xp-nike-articleLarge Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Backlash United States National Anthem Protests (2016- ) United States Social Media Sneakers NIKE Inc National Football League Kaepernick, Colin football Flags, Emblems and Insignia Ducey, Doug (1964- ) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Corporate Social Responsibility Arizona

A Nike billboard in Manhattan featuring Colin Kaepernick. The company made Mr. Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign last year.CreditAlba Vigaray/EPA, via Shutterstock

As part of his lucrative endorsement arrangement with Nike, Mr. Kaepernick appeared prominently in an advertising campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. In the wake of the ad, some consumers called for a boycott of Nike, while others destroyed their Nike products.

But analysts said that Nike had not suffered financially from its association with an athlete who had become a symbol of the so-called Resistance movement.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base — the millennial and the Gen Z consumer — and if they have alienated others, those are not the folks who buy a lot of Nikes.”

The decision to cancel the special Air Max shoe is a sign of Mr. Kaepernick’s power at Nike, said Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Nike is signaling that they’re going to go all-in on this road, whatever the consequences are, even if it’s going to get some consumers to burn their shoes on Twitter,” he said.

But it can be risky for corporations to ally themselves with divisive brand ambassadors.

“When you get into the game of commodifying social issues in a time of ultra-volatile global political sensitivity, you better create a department in your organization that does nothing all day and night but monitors and understands that state of play,” David A. Hollander, an assistant dean and associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, said in an email.

Companies have reacted quickly to brand gaffes in the past. H & M apologized last year for using a black child to model a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle” and removed the sweatshirt from its stores. The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol.

Those examples were more obviously offensive than the commemorative Nikes, several branding experts said. But Mr. Reed, of the Wharton School, said that, for many consumers, the 18th-century flag was representative less of the fight for freedom from British rule than of a period of race-based oppression.

“For lots of people, it’s quite similar to, say, the Confederate flag,” Mr. Reed said. “The revolution now is one of diversity, of all kinds of dimensions that go beyond just white males — women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. It’s a different world, and it’s a different flag.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Backlash

Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.

But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.

On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.

The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.

Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.

Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.

While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.

To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”

But the flag has, at least in recent years, cropped up in association with racist ideologies. When the Ku Klux Klan tried to recruit new followers in upstate New York last year, its fliers featured a Klansman flanked by the Confederate flag and the Betsy Ross flag. Similar imagery was reportedly included in a letter sent by the Klan to a college newspaper in Washington in 2017.

In 2016, a school superintendent in Michigan apologized after students waved the 13-star flag alongside a Trump political banner at a football game, writing in a letter to parents that the flag had come “to some symbolizes exclusion and hate.” And according to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.

Prominent conservatives argued that Nike’s cancellation of the shoe was unpatriotic.

“It’s a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Just so you know how this works now: Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like it.”

Mr. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, became a face of the social justice movement in 2016 after he began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police violence against black people and racial inequality in the United States.

His acts of protest inspired similar demonstrations from other professional athletes, but they came under fire from politicians including President Trump, who argued that they were disrespecting the country and the military, and some fans boycotted the N.F.L.

After receiving no offers to join with a team after the 2016 season, Mr. Kaepernick accused the N.F.L. of trying to keep him and a former teammate, Eric Reid, out of the league. In February, the two reached a surprise settlement with the N.F.L. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02xp-nike-articleLarge Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Backlash United States National Anthem Protests (2016- ) United States Social Media Sneakers NIKE Inc National Football League Kaepernick, Colin football Flags, Emblems and Insignia Ducey, Doug (1964- ) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Corporate Social Responsibility Arizona

A Nike billboard in Manhattan featuring Colin Kaepernick. The company made Mr. Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign last year.CreditAlba Vigaray/EPA, via Shutterstock

As part of his lucrative endorsement arrangement with Nike, Mr. Kaepernick appeared prominently in an advertising campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. In the wake of the ad, some consumers called for a boycott of Nike, while others destroyed their Nike products.

But analysts said that Nike had not suffered financially from its association with an athlete who had become a symbol of the so-called Resistance movement.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base — the millennial and the Gen Z consumer — and if they have alienated others, those are not the folks who buy a lot of Nikes.”

The decision to cancel the special Air Max shoe is a sign of Mr. Kaepernick’s power at Nike, said Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Nike is signaling that they’re going to go all-in on this road, whatever the consequences are, even if it’s going to get some consumers to burn their shoes on Twitter,” he said.

But it can be risky for corporations to ally themselves with divisive brand ambassadors.

“When you get into the game of commodifying social issues in a time of ultra-volatile global political sensitivity, you better create a department in your organization that does nothing all day and night but monitors and understands that state of play,” David A. Hollander, an assistant dean and associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, said in an email.

Companies have reacted quickly to brand gaffes in the past. H & M apologized last year for using a black child to model a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle” and removed the sweatshirt from its stores. The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol.

Those examples were more obviously offensive than the commemorative Nikes, several branding experts said. But Mr. Reed, of the Wharton School, said that, for many consumers, the 18th-century flag was representative less of the fight for freedom from British rule than of a period of race-based oppression.

“For lots of people, it’s quite similar to, say, the Confederate flag,” Mr. Reed said. “The revolution now is one of diversity, of all kinds of dimensions that go beyond just white males — women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. It’s a different world, and it’s a different flag.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com