A controversial Betsy Ross-inspired American flag sneaker is now selling online for $2,499 after Nike pulled the shoe (NKE)

air max usa

  • Nike’s Betsy Ross flag-themed sneakers are selling online for more than $2,000 after the company decided against releasing the sneakers.
  • A pair of the sneakers were recently sold on sneaker resale site StockX for $2,499 — more than 20 times the retail price of $120. 
  • Nike decided against launching the Air Max 1 USA this week after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick said that he and others found the shoe offensive, The Wall Street Journal reported. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Nike’s Air Max 1 USA are reselling online for 20 times the original retail price after the sportswear brand pulled the sneakers. 

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Nike had pulled the Air Max 1 USA — set to launch this week — after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick said that he and others found the American flag-themed shoe offensive.

The sneaker featured an image of the “Betsy Ross” flag, which has 13 white stars and was created in the 1770s. Some have connected this specific version of the American flag to slavery and white supremacy, as in the case of a 2016 high-school football game in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Read more: Nike faces backlash on social media after pulling US flag shoe design days before the Fourth of July

Nike asked retailers to return the shoes after shipping them out, The Journal reported, and is not selling the sneakers on its website.

However, some people got their hands on the Air Max 1 USA before Nike decided against its official release.

Now, resellers are raking in the cash. 

sneakers usa

Air Max 1 USA sneakers are selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars on resale websites such as StockX. As of 11:13 a.m. ET, the last sale of an Air Max 1 USA on StockX was for $2,499. On average, people are paying $608 for the sneakers when ordering via StockX.

Nike faced backlash for pulling the sneakers, with some people arguing that it was unpatriotic for the company to listen to Kaepernick’s concerns and decide against releasing the shoes.  

“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag,” a Nike representative wrote in an email to INSIDER.

SEE ALSO: Nike is selling a record number of USA women’s soccer jerseys thanks to World Cup fever

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