By: Sarah Min | CBS News
July 2, 2019
Nike's controversial "Betsy Ross" sneakers are selling for more than $2,000 on resale site StockX after the sports apparel company pulled its Air Max 1 USA shoes from retailer shelves as well as its website and mobile shopping apps.
Set to release ahead of the July 4 celebration, the retail price of the red, white and blue sneakers originally was $120, according to StockX. However, by Tuesday morning, about a dozen pairs had sold on the online marketplace for upwards of $1,000. One pair on StockX fetched as much as $2,501 — more than 20 times the original retail price.
About 66 pairs have been sold on the resale site so far, some for around $170 in the days before news of the Betsy Ross flag controversy emerged on Monday. Neither StockX nor Nike immediately responded to requests for comment.
The decision by Nike to cancel the shoe reportedly followed concerns raised by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick that the sneaker features an 18th century version of the American flag, according to the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ reported that Nike, after shipping the shoes to retailers, asked for them to be returned without providing a reason.
The WSJ reported that Kaepernick reached out to Nike, saying the design could be seen as offensive as it harkened back to a period of slavery in U.S. history. The flag, which first appeared in 1792, emerged in an era when many lawmakers advocated for the expansion of slavery in the U.S.
Kaepernick has made no public comment about the sneakers or his reported role in their cancellation.