Conservative pundit Toni Lahren has words for Colin Kaepernick after the Nike Betsy Ross Flag sneakers controversy. Days after news of her engagement, Lahren was spotted in New York City promoting her new book when she answered a reporter's question about the controversy.
The Fox Nation host called Kaepernick a "spokes cry-baby" and said she is shocked that he is "offended and oppressed" by a shoe, she told The Blast.
Nike pulled a patriotic sneaker featuring the so-called Betsy Ross flag after Kaepernick reportedly informed the company that the shoe's design had resist ties.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Nike shipped the America-themed Air Max USA shoes to retailers, but asked they be returned without an explanation.
"Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag," a spokesperson for the company said in a statement released by PEOPLE.
The flag, which was featured on the heel of the shoe, was created in the 1770s, with one white, five-pointed star meant to represent each of the 13 original colonies set against a blue background, and 13 red and white stripes.
Kaepernick reportedly reached out to Nike to tell them not to sell the shoe design, as it is considered offensive to some due to its connection to the slavery era.
There have been many cases in which the flag has been appropriated by white nationalist groups. In 2018, The Outline wrote the flag was displayed by an extremist group called Identity Evropa. In 2016, high school students in Grand Rapids, Michigan, displayed the flag beside a Trump campaign flag. In an apology to parents, the superintendent wrote that "to some" the "historical version" of the flag "symbolizes exclusion and hate."
Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, became the face of Nike's "Just Do It" campaign in September.
He gained prominence as a leading activist in the fight against racial inequality in America after he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 as a peaceful protest against racial injustice and police brutality. The #TakeAKnee movement soon spread to other teams and sports and ignited massive backlash from conservatives, including President Donald Trump.
Since the controversy, Kaepernick remains unsigned and recently settled after suing the NFL for colluding against him because of his political beliefs.
Nike's decision to yank the shoes off the market brought major backlash, including from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who accused the company of "bow[ing] to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism" on Twitter.