The Tennessee Smokies' tweet concerning Colin Kaepernick generated backlash and led to an apology. (Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
The Tennessee Smokies' tweet concerning Colin Kaepernick generated backlash and led to an apology. (Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Cubs minor-league affiliate tweets about "Betsy Ross flag," Colin Kaepernick


by - Senior Writer -

KODAK, Tenn. — In the wake of the decision by Nike to nix its plan to release a special Independence Day edition of the Air Max sneakers featuring a "Betsy Ross flag" on the back, a Chicago Cubs minor-league affiliate published a controversial tweet regarding the matter and ultimately apologized for it.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current civil-rights activist Colin Kaepernick, who is sponsored by Nike, urged Nike to pull the shoe because the Bety Ross flag has been adopted as a symbol used by several hate groups. Nike obliged Kaepernick's request, and the decision to prevent the shoe from reaching shelves was met with polarizing reactions, including Arizona governor Doug Ducey rescinding state funding for a proposed Nike factory set to be constructed in Arizona.

Elsewhere, the grounds crew for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies raked the colonial-era flag into the infield dirt prior to a home game at Smokies Stadium on Wednesday. The Smokies then posted images of the etching on the club's Twitter account and tagged Kaepernick in the tweet, which used the "Just Do It" Nike slogan in a sarcastic manner. Due to widespread negative reaction to the tweet, the Smokies organization took the post down from its Twitter page and sent out a subsequent tweet apologizing to Kaepernick and anyone offended by it. At the time of this article's publication, neither Kaepernick nor Nike has publicly commented on the incident.

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