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Volume 26 No. 105
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Nike's Parker Stands By Decision To Pull Betsy Ross Sneakers

Nike Chair, President & CEO Mark Parker is standing by the company's decision to pull an Air Max shoe featuring a 13-star colonial-era American flag for reasoning he said was "based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the Fourth of July holiday," according to Mark Wilson of FAST COMPANY. Parker said, "That's the reason we pulled it, not to create a source of polarization. We make those decisions, sometimes. They're rare, but it does happen. We're trying not to offend." Meanwhile, Nike as of late has "delved head-on" into social issues by "aligning itself with figures in the sporting world who are outspoken about inclusivity, including Colin Kaepernick, Serena Williams, and Megan Rapinoe." Nike has been "criticized for this," and it seems like the company is "choosing sides, actively and openly, as part" of its identity. Parker said, "There are values that are important to the brand and the company that we're not going to shy away from. We support the views of our employees, our athletes. And yeah, we will put a stake in the ground and take a stand. I don't want to suggest that we don't. I think it's probably pretty obvious that we do, and that's a part of who we are as a company." He added, "It's important for me personally, but also for the company, to stand for some values. We don't shy away from that" (FASTCOMPANY.com, 9/9).