CBS, NBC Boost Kaepernick Claim Betsy Ross Flag Is Racist Symbolism

Shoemaker Nike once again showed its disdain for America this week after pulling a new Fourth of July-themed shoe sporting the Betsy Ross flag, because failed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick thought it was racist and a symbol of slavery.

To any student of history, or anyone who ever took an American history class, the idea that the American flag with 13 stars was a symbol of racism and slavery was nonsense. But the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News bought into the accusation without even a second thought and even pushed the lunacy.

CBS correspondent Meg Oliver pulled out all the stops to help convince viewers of Kaepernick’s argument. “Nike set off a firestorm after pulling their shoes emblazoned with the Betsy Ross flag, an early version of the American flag with 13 stars and stripes used in the 1700s, before slavery was abolished,” she reported.

She added: “Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick is the face of Nike's ‘Just do it’ campaign. He reportedly complained to Nike the flag is an offensive symbol of slavery.

She even spoke with former New York Times sports columnist William Rhoden. “Well, it symbolizes -- I see the – I see the 13 colonies, and that leads directly to slavery,” he told her. “This is a great teaching moment, and it brings us in contact with the history that most of us and most Americans do not want to deal with.”

Apparently completely willing to let hate groups dictate what’s theirs and what the rest of us can’t enjoy, Oliver also claimed that, “In some cases, the Betsy Ross flag has been co-opted by white supremacist groups like the KKK.”

 

 

Meanwhile, she tut-tutted the way “conservatives lashed out against Nike”:

Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas wrote, "It's a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag."

Arizona's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, withdrew all financial incentives the state promised Nike to invest in a $185 million factory in Arizona, and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain tweeted, "Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn't like it."

NBC anchor Lester Holt also elevated Kaepernick’s unfounded accusations. “The company pulling a shoe after critics, including former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, objected to the use of the Betsy Ross flag, calling it a reminder of the slavery era,” he announced as he was leading into the segment.

Of course, NBC correspondent Stephanie Gosk had to go to social media to find more liberal outrage over nothing. “Even before Nike pulled the sneakers, some on social media were angry that the flag appeared to celebrate a time when slavery was accepted. One calling the design, ‘air slaveries’,” she parroted.

After recalling conservative outrage following Nike signing the deal with Kaepernick, Gosk mocked how the anger didn’t harm Nike. “Some burned their shoes, calling Nike unpatriotic. As for Nike's business, since partnering with Kaepernick, both sales and stock price went up,” she gloated.

This was after both networks threw a fit over President Trump’s Fourth of July celebration in Washington D.C.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
July 2, 2019
6:42:17 p.m. Eastern

DAVID BEGNAUD: Nike was set to sell a new sneaker that featured a 13-star American flag just in time for the Fourth of July, but the company suddenly pulled them out of stores. If Nike was trying to avoid a controversy, though, it did not work. Here's Meg Oliver.

[Cuts to video]

MEG OLIVER: Nike set off a firestorm after pulling their shoes emblazoned with the Betsy Ross flag, an early version of the American flag with 13 stars and stripes used in the 1700s, before slavery was abolished.

When you look at that early version of the American flag, what does it symbolize?

WILLIAM RHODEN: Well, it symbolizes -- I see the – I see the 13 colonies, and that leads directly to slavery.

OLIVER: In some cases, the Betsy Ross flag has been co-opted by white supremacist groups like the KKK. Conservatives lashed out against Nike. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas wrote, "It's a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag."

Arizona's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, withdrew all financial incentives the state promised Nike to invest in a $185 million factory in Arizona, and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain tweeted, "Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn't like it."

COLIN KAEPERNICK: Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.

OLIVER: Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick is the face of Nike's "Just do it" campaign. He reportedly complained to Nike the flag is an offensive symbol of slavery.

RHODEN: This is a great teaching moment, and it brings us in contact with the history that most of us and most Americans do not want to deal with.

{cuts back to live]

OLIVER: In a statement, Nike doesn't mention Kaepernick but says they made the decision to halt distribution “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation's patriotic holiday.”

BEGNAUD: Thank you for bringing us both sides. Appreciate it.

 

NBC Nightly News
July 2, 2019
7:18:04 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: All right. Next up for us tonight, the new firestorm for Nike. The company pulling a shoe after critics, including former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, objected to the use of the Betsy Ross flag, calling it a reminder of the slavery era. Here's NBC's Stephanie Gosk.

[Cuts to video]

COLIN KAEPERNICK: Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.

STEPHANIE GOSK: Colin Kaepernick has been the face of Nike. Behind the scenes, he may also be pulling strings. According to the Wall Street Journal, the former NFL quarterback was offended by a 4th of July themed shoe leading the company to recall thousands of the red, white and blue sneakers. All emblazoned with a 13-star Betsy Ross flag.

In a statement, Nike says it pulled the shoe, “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation's patriotic holiday.” Kaepernick's agent tells NBC news he will not be commenting.

Even before Nike pulled the sneakers, some on social media were angry that the flag appeared to celebrate a time when slavery was accepted. One calling the design, “air slaveries”.

But now Arizona's governor says incentives being offered to Nike to build a new manufacturing plant in his state may be pulled. “American business should be proud of our country's history,” he writes. “Not abandoning it.”

The iconic company faced withering criticism after it signed a marketing deal with Kaepernick. The former football player was the first in the NFL to kneel during the national anthem. Some burned their shoes, calling Nike unpatriotic. As for Nike's business, since partnering with Kaepernick, both sales and stock price went up. Stephanie Gosk, NBC news.

NB Daily Censorship Conspiracy Theories Labeling Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Race Issues Racism Broadcast Television CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Lester Holt Stephanie Gosk Meg Oliver

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