After Nike’s shocking decision to scrap the Air Max 1 Quick Strike trainers which bore the “Betsy Ross” version of the U.S. flag, the shoes are now selling at a nearly 2,000 percent premium on StockX , the “stock market for things.”
The move to cancel the sneakers was reportedly made after the sports brand received a complaint from ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick that the flag with a circle of 13 stars and 13 stripes was offensive due to its alleged association with extremist organizations. The flag was originally designed by Betsy Ross during the American Revolution and was in use from 1777 to 1795.
Nike had intended to unveil the Air Max 1 in time for the July 4 Independence Day holiday. According to CNN Business , the sneaker had been slated for release on July 1 and was already in some stores. The retail outlets have now been asked to return them.
Nike had priced the Air Max 1 trainers at $140. On StockX, a pair in mint condition is currently selling at a 1,983.3 percent premium.
Anyone who had the foresight – or luck – to buy several pairs of the Air Max 1 in bulk has already made a tidy sum.
Currently, the lowest ask is $2,000, though there are sellers asking for as much as $6,974.
Nike’s move to cancel the Betsy Ross-flag-themed sneakers has ignited a backlash in some quarters. The Republican governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, accused Nike of bowing to the demands of social justice warriors instead of honoring the country’s history:
“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”
Ducey ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw financial incentives that were to be awarded to Nike. The athletic-wear company had been planning to set up a manufacturing plant in the state. Arizona was to waive fees totaling nearly $1 million as well as reimburse another $1 million. Around 500 jobs were expected to be created at the plant.
Nike is also facing backlash from right-wing consumers. Some conservatives, like Fox News host Laura Ingraham, vowed to boycott products made by the sportswear company.
This is not new territory for Nike, however, as it has braved boycott campaigns in the past.
Last September, Nike suffered under a deluge of protests after it debuted an ad starring Colin Kaepernick, who is best known for starting the trend of athletes kneeling during the national anthem.
So it’s not too surprising that investors greeted today’s media frenzy with a yawn. NKE shares mostly traded sideways on Tuesday.