After Nike pulled its Fourth of July sneaker featuring the “Betsy Ross flag,” an early design of the U.S. flag, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh began selling a T-shirt featuring the design. Apparently, sales have been through the roof.
Limbaugh appeared on the news show “Fox & Friends” yesterday to announce that he’d sold $3 million worth of the shirts, which are retailing for $27 on his website, with profits going to Tunnels to Towers, an organization that aids survivors of 9/11 and families of first responders.
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The pundit said he decided to release the T-shirts in response to Nike’s decision to drop its Fourth of July sneakers featuring the Betsy Ross flag, and he created the shirts in only four days.
Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike reportedly nixed the shoe based in part on criticism from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. According to the The Wall Street Journal, the athlete reached out to executives at the firm, explaining that the design has a symbolic association with slavery to some, himself included.
Limbaugh said on “Fox & Friends” that “there’s no reason to tear down the flag, there’s no reason to tear down our history, and, certainly, there’s no reason to tear down Betsy Ross.”
He added, “[Ross is] an American hero, maybe one of the first feminists. So the thing happens with Nike. They come out with the Betsy Ross tennis shoes, Colin Kaepernick says he doesn’t like them, Nike shelves them. People are tired of this, guys.”
Other political figures have spoken out against Nike’s decision, including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who in early July criticized the Swoosh for “[yielding to the] current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism” and threatened to withhold a $1 million tax incentive for Nike’s proposed plant in the state.
Ducey has since reversed his position, and on July 11 tweeted out the “good news” that Nike’s manufacturing plant would be opening in the city of Goodyear, Ariz. The governor said in his tweet: “500-plus jobs. Over $184 million in capital investment. Arizona is open for business, and we welcome Nike to our state.”
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