Nike was scheduled to drop a new Independence Day-themed Air Max 1 today, but the release didn't go down as planned despite arriving at a handful of retailers last week. Last week, rumors emerged that the sneakers had been canceled due to their Betsy Ross flag heel embroidery, although Nike tweeted (embedded below) that the shoes would still drop, just not on its website. Now, new information is surfacing which suggests the shoes may have been more problematic for the brand than we first thought.
According to Wall Street Journal, the "4th of July" Air Max 1s were canceled after former NFL quarterback turned social activist Colin Kaepernick spoke up, telling the brand it should reconsider the release. The report states that Kaepernick reached out directly to Nike after images of the sneaker were shared online, telling the brand that he and others found the design to be offensive because of the Betsy Ross flag's connection a time in America history when slavery still existed.
The shoes were removed from Nike's SNKRS launch site last week, and WSJ adds that the brand issued a recall to retailers without explanation. The botched release has caused the colorway's aftermarket value to surge, with numerous StockX asks north of $1,000.
"Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag," the brand told Sole Collector.